Today, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following statement on his vote against Senate Amendment 1183, as well as his stance on S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act:
"Our immigration system is broken and our borders are not secure. Rather than focus on solving one or two issues at a time and delivering the reforms Americans are asking for, the Senate has chosen to lump every immigration and border security problem together into one massive and flawed bill. Americans are keenly aware of where this irresponsible method of legislating has gotten us in the past -- but the Senate has clearly learned nothing from the failure of the 1986 immigration reform bill, and more recently the rushed passage of Dodd-Frank and Obamacare.
"Not surprisingly, the open debate Americans were promised has been replaced by backroom talks, limited amendments and excessive haste. On an issue of such significance, the American people deserve to have their voices heard through a process that allows their elected representatives to offer and vote on amendments. Even the failed immigration bill of 2007 had a more open process, with 46 amendments being voted on compared to just 10 amendments to the current bill.
"The most recent of these amendments is a hastily crafted "border security deal' that promises to finally secure the border. Yet, time and time again Congress has passed laws directing the administration to secure the border, only to see those directives never fully implemented. If Congress is going to link a pathway to citizenship to the promise of border security, Americans deserve assurances up front -- not flexible enforcement provisions and exceptions.
"Americans want Congress to fix our flawed immigration system the right way, and fix it for good. A 1,000-page bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would only reduce the number of illegal immigrants by 25 percent does not meet this standard. There are many issues on which Republicans and Democrats agree -- such as making certain American companies have the high-skilled talent they need to grow and create jobs -- and I believe the Senate could have passed several targeted bills by wide margins. Unfortunately, the "we can't do anything unless we do everything' approach has prevailed once again. The final result is a massive bill I cannot support because it fails to fix our broken immigration system."