Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement in response to the introduction of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation:
"I want to commend my colleagues in the so-called "Gang of Eight' for introducing their comprehensive immigration reform bill. I know that this process has been long and painstaking as my colleagues worked closely with stakeholders to craft this bipartisan agreement. This legislation is a critical part of our long-overdue effort to fix our nation's flawed and outdated immigration system, and it takes important steps to modernize our immigration laws and make them more effective and humane. I believe that the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee can continue to be a good partner as this bill moves through the legislative process, particularly as we work to enhance our security efforts at our borders and ports of entry in a cost-effective manner.
"Through my work on the committee, I have had several opportunities to visit our Northern and Southern borders to see our security efforts firsthand, including a trip to our borders in Arizona and Michigan earlier this year. I intend to visit the Texas border later this month. These visits, as well as the two hearings our committee has held on this subject this year, have helped paint a picture for me -- and I hope my colleagues and the general public -- of the important progress we have made at our borders and ports of entry and where we can still make improvements. It's no easy task to ensure that we are doing all that we can to keep those who might harm America out of our country, while also facilitating trade and travel, both of which are critical to our economy. This effort is particularly challenging in this daunting fiscal environment where we have to be responsible stewards of scarce taxpayer dollars and carefully scrutinize how we spend every federal dollar. I'm a firm believer that if something is worth having, it's worth paying for, and it's worth it to America to invest more to modernize our immigration system and enhance our enforcement and protection efforts along our borders and ports of entry. My goal is to work with my colleagues and the Administration to do all that we can to make these important investments in a cost-efficient and effective manner. At the end of the day, one of the best ways to safeguard our borders and ports of entry is to make sure that we have an immigration system that works -- and this reform bill helps fix our broken system to do just that. I stand ready to work with my colleagues in Congress, the Administration, and other stakeholders to help move this important immigration reform effort forward."