U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), today released the following statement regarding his amendment to S. 1348, the Senate immigration bill. Dr. Coburn's amendment called on Congress to secure our borders and enforce existing immigration laws before granting amnesty. The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 42-54.
"The American public cannot trust any new promises made by the Congress concerning immigration because the federal government has not kept its word. The American people expect their laws to be upheld. Yet, despite numerous laws on the books today, our borders are not secure and we have an estimated 12 million people in this country illegally," Dr. Coburn said. "Congress' broken promises have caused the American public to lose trust in the government's ability to secure our nation's borders and address our problems with illegal immigration."
A recent Rasmussen Report reported 66 percent of respondents said they believe it does not make sense to debate new immigration laws until we can first control our borders and enforce existing laws.
"The first step in any immigration reform proposal must begin with securing our borders. Our country is based upon the rule of law and tolerating illegal immigration undermines this principle. This amendment is a step in the right direction to restore the public's faith in Congress' willingness to protect our nation by securing our borders and enforcing the law," Dr. Coburn said.
The Coburn amendment No. 1311 to S. 1348, the Senate immigration bill, would require the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws and congressional approval before amnesty can be granted.
The Coburn amendment will restore confidence in the process by delaying legal status for illegal immigrants until Congress has certified that all of the security and enforcement triggers have been met.
This also requires enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws before amnesty can be granted to illegal immigrants. These provisions of existing law include: control over maritime borders, full fencing required by law, integrated alien databases, US-VISIT program, biometric ID system, and ending "sanctuary city" policies.