Contending that it would meet all of the objectives put forth in President Donald Trump’s immigration “framework,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R.-Ark., lauded his immigration reform proposal in a Monday speech on the Senate floor.
The Secure and Succeed Act was introduced Monday by Cotton, along with six other Republican senators led by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R.-Iowa. During his speech, Cotton argued that the legislation was the only immigration reform plan that had a chance of becoming law during the Trump administration, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“We’ve introduced legislation this week that transforms the president’s four-pillar framework into an actual bill,” Cotton said. “And it’s the one bill that can become a law. We have a plan, not to pass a bill but to pass a law.”
Cotton implored his colleagues to “solve this problem by passing a law” instead of “simply signal[ing] our virtue” by passing a bill.
According to Cotton, the Secure and Succeed Act addresses the four “pillars” of Trump’s “framework” by providing “legal status and ultimately citizenship for people who were brought here through no fault of their own as minors.” The bill also enacts measures to control immigration, including provisions for extensive border security, ending the visa lottery system and limiting chain migration.
Cotton called all other immigration reform proposals currently in the Senate “half-measures,” arguing that it was not responsible to legalize 1.8 million illegal aliens without implementing other measures to control immigration.
“It is not responsible, because if we give those people legal status, we’ll have two negative side effects,” Cotton said. “First, we’ll create more incentives, perverse incentives, to encourage illegal immigration with minor children to this country. That is dangerous. It is immoral — not to mention unwise from our national interest.”
“Second, if we give legal status to these 1.8 million people, we’ll create a whole new pool of legal permanent residents and ultimately citizens who could naturalize their extended family, to include their parents, the very people who created the problem to begin with, undermining the rationale for the program to begin with,” Cotton said. “Remember that rationale is the children ought not pay for the sins of the parents, but surely parents can pay for the sins of the parents.”
Cotton claimed that the legislation does not force lawmakers to choose between pleasing voters and satisfying Trump, since Trump’s goals for immigration are largely supported by the electorate.
“A recent poll showed that 65 percent of Americans support this proposal,” Cotton said. “Two out of every three Americans support it. And they should, since after all, every part of this proposal is popular. Most of us have seen polls that suggest fewer than 20 percent of Americans want to see these people have to return to their country that, in many cases, they don’t remember. At the same time, 72 percent want to end the practice of extended-family chain migration, and securing our southern border is equally popular.”