By a vote of 68 to 32, the U.S. Senate passed immigration reform legislation. The bill calls for the spending of billions of dollars to increase security along the U.S.-Mexican border and offer a path of citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. The measure was led through the Senate by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” which includes Senator Lindsey Graham who spoke on the Senate floor about giving illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens.
“Here’s what we’re going to allow; go through a criminal background check, pay a fine, get right with the law, and you’ll have legal status. You’ll get to pay taxes like the rest of us and get to know the IRS, welcome to America!”
Graham says it is about time that the dysfunctional immigration system gets fixed and he is proud that the Senate has taken a bipartisan approach in fixing the problem by passing the legislation.
“We are going to create order out of chaos. We’re going to get people working and paying in rather than taking out under the table. And what we’re going to do above all else, ladies and gentleman, is we’re going to prove to ourselves that we can work together for the common good.”
Graham said he is very aware of his critics and that he is taking a bold political risk in running against the grain of many of the GOP voters in South Carolina by participating in the composing of bill which includes the much debated path to citizenship.
“I’m doing great among Hispanics; the bad news is that there is not very many that vote in the Republican Primary. The good news for me is I think is I have tried to work with my colleagues, the Gang of Eight, our staff, to start a process that will pay great dividends.”
Graham says he is proud of the Senate’s passage of the bill, showing it can solve problems through bipartisan solutions.
“We’re beginning slowly but surely in your Senate, the great deliberative body in history, come together to do important things; and to the 11 million (estimated illegal immigrants), you have a second chance, take advantage of it. Embrace the fact that you that you are being given a second chance ”
The bill now heads to the Republican majority House, which has a series of immigration reform bills of its own.