KENNEDY ON IMMIGRATION BILL VOTE TONIGHT
At the heart of the issue of immigration is work and hope. People risk their lives to come to this country to work hard. They come to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families. And they come to our county with their hearts filled with hope.
Even though we didn't cross this important hurdle today, hope is a powerful thing and it will not be deterred. The issue will not go away and we will not give up the fight. Immigration is about the future of America.
The vote was obviously a big disappointment, but it makes no sense to fold our tent, and I certainly don't intend to. Doing nothing is totally unacceptable.
I believe we're well within reach of a realistic solution, and I believe we have the will to find it. We can't afford not to.
No one can realistically pretend that no bill is better than this bill. But that is exactly what our colleagues who voted no are saying.
Our immigration system is badly broken, and it's creating an immense problem for our country. We can't continue to look the other way, while our country continues to be a magnet for tens of thousands of people in other lands. They come to communities across America, because they know they can find jobs here, even if they have to live in the shadows without the fundamental rights that all Americans have.
We can't continue to look the other way, when countless American businesses are willing to ignore the law and hire these workers, because those firms have no other way to obtain the workers they need to enable their firms to stay in business.
We can't continue to look the other way and pretend to respect the rule of law, when every day we fail to act is another day in which the rule of law in America is massively subverted by out shameful and dysfunctional immigration system.
Above all, we can't continue to look the other way when our own national security is increasingly at risk because we can't control our borders.
We've made a great deal of progress toward a realistic solution that will restore the rule of law and is fair for business, fair for labor and fair for the millions of undocumented immigrants living here in desperate conditions today, working hard among us and contributing positively to our economy, our communities and our country.
Failure is not an option. Let's keep working together and get this job done right. We know we can do it.