Meghan Hughes (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) today made the following statement in response to the immigration reform proposal announced by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and other Democratic Senators:
"A conceptual paper that promises everything to everyone is not the same as responsible legislation that compiles the best ideas from both sides of the aisle. The Senate Democrats' proposal is nothing more than an attempt to score political points. It poisons the well for those of us who are working toward a more secure border and responsible, bipartisan reform of our immigration laws.
"What is being billed as a comprehensive immigration and enforcement package, is actually far more permissive than the 2007 bill. It doesn't provide the funding to ensure that the border is actually secured, it doesn't end chain migration, and there is no real temporary worker program. Both of us have been involved in serious efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and believe, given the increase in violence along the border, that additional border security measures must be funded immediately.
"Since 2007, threats have increased, some border technology has failed, and the American people have lost confidence in the federal government's ability to secure our borders. So it is our belief that Congress should focus on border security first and that will eventually allow Congress to seriously consider bipartisan immigration reform, instead of politically-motivated ‘conceptual papers.'
"Most of the border enforcement measures that have been proven effective can be achieved by appropriating necessary funding. We need to work on a bipartisan basis to get this done."