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Public Statements

Immigration Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, first, I commend my colleague and friend from Illinois for his outstanding remarks on both subjects, the deficit and on immigration. I am here to talk about the deficit, but I will just touch on immigration.

People are saying, well, why is the President going to El Paso when we have not made enough progress on immigration? They bring up a point, but the President's point is the right one. He is bringing the message to the country on why we need real immigration reform.

I think there is one point on which 100 Members of this Chamber would agree: our present immigration system is broken, badly broken. We turn away lots of people who should be here. We also do not have a rational system for who should come here, and America is the lesser for it. As the Senator from Illinois pointed out, immigration is part of our proud heritage, and immigrants help America.

One of the reasons we are doing a lot better than Europe is we have welcomed new people into this country, and we integrate them and say: As quickly as you can, become Americans. We all came from somewhere else originally.

Now, I am still very hopeful that as the President sets the table and let's America know how important this is, we can get bipartisan immigration reform done in this Chamber, on the floor of the Senate, and even over in the House. It is hard, no question, but I believe, first, to get comprehensive reform we need bipartisan support. That is obvious. But, secondly, that people see enough need to do it that we can actually get it done, particularly if the President goes around the country, as he is beginning to do today in El Paso and as he has done in the past, and talks about the need for immigration reform, setting the table so we can actually get something real done.


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