WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., was among the first to take to the Senate floor Monday to express “real concern” about the immigration reform proposal.
Vitter cited past history in arguing that immigration reform under former President Ronald Reagan in 1986 led to amnesty for illegal immigrants without most of the “promised” increases on enforcement against illegal immigrants crossing borders and living in the U.S.
“History suggests this brand of so-called comprehensive immigration reform — this promise of enforcement as long as we have an amnesty — all of those things put together is a recipe for failure,” Vitter said.
Referring to the 1986 changes, Vitter added, “It not only perpetuated the problem, it grew the problem … enormously.”
Vitter also argued that President Barack Obama has “no will” to “focus on real enforcement.”
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., on the other hand, called the immigration framework a “good start.”
“A bipartisan group of my Senate colleagues unveiled a framework for immigration reform that seeks to address border security, employer checks on immigration status and a path forward for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.,” Landrieu said in an email response. “It also seeks to retain highly-skilled entrepreneurs from around the world to help spur economic growth in our nation. This is a good start and I look forward to the debate ahead to strengthen it.
“In addition, I will continue my focus on developing America’s current workforce, so that all workers in America have the skills they need to succeed.”