The Senate vote on the Gang of Eight's immigration bill could come as early as today. Below is a statement from Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) opposing the bill and urging Senators to vote no on giving amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants.
Congressman Smith: "The Senate immigration bill ignores the will of the American people and instead, puts the interests of illegal immigrants and foreign workers first. Two-thirds of the American people want the border secured before other immigration reforms are implemented. But even with the so-called "border surge' amendment, the Senate bill provides legalization to millions of illegal immigrants before the border is secured. And it includes no deadlines for border security measures to be implemented. So it's legalization now and border security later, if ever.
"The majority of Americans want to stop the never ending flood of illegal immigration into our country. But the Senate bill only reduces illegal immigration by 25 percent. Meanwhile, it creates a massive new incentive for more illegal immigration by granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.
"Most Americans feel that legalizing millions of illegal immigrants would be a drain on government services. A Heritage Foundation study found that the Senate bill would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion because over their lifetimes newly legalized immigrants will take more from government benefits than they pay into the programs.
"America has the most generous immigration policy in the world, admitting one million legal immigrants each year. Most Americans do not want to increase that number. But the Senate bill doubles the number of legal immigrants admitted annually, meaning more competition for scarce jobs.
"The Senate bill simply waves a wand and legalizes 11 million individuals who came to the U.S. illegally, and then claims that it has solved the problem of illegal immigration. But legalization is not a solution; it creates a whole new set of problems. And it sends a clear message to would-be immigrants that it's better to come to the U.S. illegally and receive the benefits now rather than follow the law and wait in line.
"Senators should reject this ill-advised and destructive immigration bill that puts the interests of illegal immigrants before those of hard-working, law-abiding American citizens."