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McCaskill: Senate Lost Forest Through The Trees On Immigration

Location: St. Louis, MO

McCaskill: Senate Lost Forest Through The Trees On Immigration

May 25, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- Today, the Senate version of the immigration bill passed 62-36, toughening border security but also including a new guest worker program, which will undermine American jobs by creating an endless supply of cheap labor. U.S. Senate Candidate Claire McCaskill expressed her disappointment in the Senate bill, citing that due to the vast differences in the House and Senate versions, the likely inability to strike a compromise on the new guest worker program would forgo the drastically needed enhancements to border security.

McCaskill provided the following statement on today's Senate bill:

"Today's senate vote on immigration shows once again that Washington doesn't get it. They seem to lose the forest through the trees on the major priorities facing our country. We desperately need to strengthen and protect our borders from illegal immigration and meth distribution. That must be job one when it comes to the debate on immigration. However, because Washington lawmakers are playing politics in an election year, they took their eye off the ball and have now missed that chance to make our country safer.

"I oppose amnesty. As a former prosecutor, I believe people who break the law should be held accountable, both illegal immigrants and the employers who exploit them for cheap labor. The President, Senator Talent and the Republican Congress have stood by and done nothing for five years, refusing to prosecute thousands of employers who are blatantly breaking the law. The real solution to the immigration crisis in this country is strengthening border security and holding employers accountable, both of which are now at risk in this final bill because controversial measures have been included in both the House and Senate versions.

"I oppose a new guest worker program. And because it was added, under pressure from business lobbyists, to a bill that should be about strengthening our borders, I would be forced to vote against it. This is what is wrong with Washington ? politics plays a higher priority than the strength of a nation. It's wrong and, as Senator, I will fight to get us back on the right track."

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