Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he will not be supporting the landmark immigration bill set to be voted on by Congress in the coming weeks because his amendment was shot down.
Paul’s amendment was to grant Congress an annual vote on whether the border is secure or not, mostly because he distrusts the White House to make sure it is secure. Despite the bill’s bipartisan nature, it has slowly become a tug-of-war between Democrats vying for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and Republicans demanding stronger border security measures.
“Without some congressional authority and without border security first, I can’t support the final bill,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of The Union.”
Two Republican Senators introduced a much more popular border security compromise that is expected to help win over many more Republican Senators.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., introduced a plan that requires an implementation of stronger border security measures before undocumented immigrants will be allowed access to the path to citizenship. The amendment offers 20,000 more border agents and resources to finish 700 miles of fencing, as well as greater restrictions for letting in immigrants without all the proper paperwork.
Supporters of the bill believe it will pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but would like a larger majority than the necessary 60 votes in order to carry its momentum into the House, which is controlled by Republicans.
Paul, however, does not feel the amendment provides enough assurance for border security, despite the fact that the amendment would guarantee increased border security before any undocumented immigrants would be able to take advantage of the bill’s path to citizenship.
“We've thrown a lot of money at a lot of problems in our country,” Paul said. “To me, what really tells me that they're serious would be letting Congress vote on whether the border's secure. If the people in the country want to be assured that we will not get another 10 million people to come here illegally over the next decade, they have to believe they get a vote through their Congress.”
Though House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is reluctant to even introduce the bill on the floor without vast Republican support, immigration reform is too ubiquitous a topic for lawmakers to not take action. Eager lawmakers are hoping to vote on the bill before the Congressional recess starting July 4.