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Immigration: What seven key Republican senators have said
President Barack Obama’s goal of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws has garnered a surprising amount of support so far from Senate Republicans, which will be critical for passage. But as the Senate debate draws near, there are signs of trouble. Below, what seven GOP senators have said.
Digital First Media· Fri, Jan 25 2013 09:19:13
Rubio: ‘Address this reality’
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whose parents were Cuban immigrants, has
put forward a plan
which would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in stages, increase visas for seasonal farm workers and allow more high-skilled immigrants.
“In an ideal world we wouldn’t have eight, 10 million people who are undocumented,” he said. “We have to address this reality. But we have to do it in a way that’s responsible.”
McCain: ‘Comprehensive reform is the way to go’
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who
pressed for immigration reform
in his 2008 campaign, is part of a bipartisan “gang of eight” senators working on a comprehensive immigration bill.
“I’ve always felt that comprehensive reform is the way to go, and I think I was right,” he said.
Flake: ‘Our position … was wrong’
McCain’s fellow Arizona Republican, Sen. Jeff Flake, also is working on the “gang of eight” proposal, arguing that the Republican Party
has been wrong on the issue
in both tone and policy.
“On some issues, it’s not just the way we talk about it, it’s our position,” he said. “On immigration reform, it’s been our position that was wrong. Not just the tone of the debate.”
Graham: ‘An American solution’
“I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that’s an American solution to an American problem. But we have nobody to blame but ourselves when it comes to losing Hispanics. And we can get them back with some effort on our part.”
Lee: ‘Find common ground’
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah is the only member of the “gang of eight” who never has supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but he told the Salt Lake Tribune he wants to
be part of the solution
“I’m not interested in anything that offers amnesty and I’ve made no secret about that,” he said. “But there, I think, is potential to find common ground.”
Barrasso: ‘We need to deal with immigration’
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming
backed some immigration changes
, such as allowing more high-skilled immigrants, though he did not say what he thought of a path to citizenship.
“You know, we are educating so many people and then telling them to leave the country who are from other countries,” he said. “You know, go back, we don’t want you here. … We need additional labor. We need to deal with immigration.”
Cruz: ‘Enforce the laws’
“My view is that we should enforce the laws with respect to those who are here illegally now,” he said. “And if we secure the border and if we improve legal immigration, if we improve legal immigration, if we speed it up, if we make it more efficient, if we stop the interminable delays, that will solve much of the problem by providing an open, legal avenue for people to come in without violating the law.”