Chambliss and Isakson say “secure the borders first.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Saxby Chambliss(R-Ga.) today urged their House and Senate colleagues to recognize the critical importance of a “border-security-first” approach to immigration reform.

“We’ve had in this country for two centuries a pathway to citizenship, and it’s known as legal immigration. It’s absolutely essential that we restore the confidence of the American people, and we send the message to those that yearn to come to this country that there’s one way to get here and that one way is the legal route,” Isakson said at a news conference in the U.S. Capitol. “As long as you look the other way on our border, you’re going to have disrespect for legal immigration and a compounding of the problem we have today. Border security is the prerequisite for comprehensive immigration reform.”

“The Senate passed a bill that emphasized a pathway to citizenship first and border security second, and that simply is the wrong prioritization of the issues involved in immigration reform,” said Senator Chambliss. “Since the passage of the Senate bill I have been from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast visiting with farmers, with business people, as well as with folks who have immigrated to this country in some legal fashion and I will tell you, these group are outraged with the idea that immigration reform ought to have tied to it a pathway to citizenship.”

During debate in the Senate on immigration reform, Isakson introduced an amendment, which Chambliss co-sponsored, that would have prohibited the implementation of any program granting legal status to those who have entered the country illegally until the Secretary of Homeland Security has certified to the President and to the Congress that the border security provisions in the immigration legislation are fully funded and operational. The Senate defeated the amendment by a vote of 40 yeas to 55 nays.

Members of the House plan to hold hearings on the Senate immigration bill in July and August. The Senate bill includes a guest worker program. The House bill deals with border security only.

Isakson and Chambliss believe it is critical to secure the borders before implementing a new temporary worker program because otherwise the United States will face a repeat of 1986, when amnesty was granted to 3 million illegal immigrants without enhancing border security first. The result was that millions more immigrants have flooded into the United States illegally and now are straining our schools, our hospitals and our local jails.

16 comments

  1. jacewalden says:

    Glad to see Chambliss and Isakson taking the lead on this. Hopefully someone out there will hear their voices and the voices of most Americans when we say “NO” to amnesty, and “YES” to complete border and port security.

  2. UGAMatthew says:

    I am glad to still see this approach. What I’m not glad of is how drawn out this whole issue has become. It’s essential that Congress do something quickly. Hopefully we’ll get something from them soon about this and it won’t include “amnesty” or the like.

  3. JP says:

    These are the same two twits who voted Yes to the flag burning amendment? Doesn’t say much for them, now does it?

  4. LINDA says:

    JP,

    I praise these senators for voting yes for the flag burning amendment, and hopefully it will come up for a vote again. Any senator that voted no does not deserve to sit in Senate.

  5. LINDA says:

    Our flag is sacred, and it serves as a cover for our brave soldiers’ coffins much more than I care to see. It is the symbol of an American, and to turn a blind eye to those that would burn this sacred emblem is to turn a blind eye to someone that would set an American on fire. If I had my way, anyone that desecrated the American flag would be banished from our shores for the rest of their life. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the First Amendment, and is no different than someone taking a sledge hammer to the Lincoln Memorial or any other sacred historic landmark.

  6. JP says:

    Linda, we’ll have to agree to disagree–I am voting against anyone who votes for such divisive partisan pandering. That’s the only reason “issues” like this, and gay marriage, come up only during even-numbered years–elections. Rally the base again, guys!

    The rate of flag burnings reportedly went up by 33% last year–in raw numbers, it went from 3 to…….4. So we need a flipping Constitutional amendment? Are you kidding me?

  7. JP says:

    Further, on your 2nd comment Linda, if you believe that “to turn a blind eye to those that would burn this sacred emblem is to turn a blind eye to someone that would set an American on fire,” you have a twisted view of what it stands for. It stands for ideals, not people. Those ideals include freedom, including that of speech, from the First Amendment you seem to be somewhat familiar with.

    If it’s as sacred as you believe, Congressmen shouldn’t wear it as slut gear to win votes.

  8. JP says:

    Back to the topic at hand–I actually agree with securing the borders first. I also advocate enforcing regulations that apply to employers–since if the jobs weren’t there, the immigrants wouldn’t be either. I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see that side addressed, but it’s possible. Still, anything is a start–control of who enters and who leaves is the goal, so I’m in favor of this step.

  9. LINDA says:

    JP,

    How about putting your money where your mouth is and join the National Guard? We need fresh boots on the ground to help secure the borders and to fight this war on terror. The pen may be mightier than the sword when we are not at war, but today we need more swords. If you are younger than 43, you can now join the Guard. And that goes for any other able-bodeid man reading this post. Do your patriotic duty and offer your service to the United States!!!!!

  10. jacewalden says:

    Linda,

    Personally, I don’t really care for JP AT ALL. I have rarely agreed with ANY of his views. I think he’s a flaming liberal, and I’m not–so we don’t see eye to eye.

    But please, to insinuate that he’s not patriotic because he’s not in the guard–that’s the dumbest thing I have EVER heard.

    There are PLENTY of people who have served this country honorably that were NEVER in the military. And I will also submit that there are people who are distinguished veterans who are now serving this country DIShonorably. (I.E. John Kerry, John Murtha)

    By the way, I know you have a son who is serving. But what about you? Have you ever served? IF, and only IF, the answer is “NO”, then you’re a hypocrite–because women can serve too.

  11. LINDA says:

    Jacewalden,

    No, I have not served in the military. But, I did talk to my counselor in high school about joining the Army because I was poor and wanted a way to pay for college. This counselor persuaded me that I was not cut out for the military. And in hindsight, she was probably right.

    If the United States were ran in my ideal belief structure, all men would either serve in the active military are the guard for a minimum of three years if they were physically able to do so. I believe it would do more to create and perpetuate national pride than anything else.

    In addition, I believe that military service should be required for the President and the Vice President of the United States. You cannot be a defender of out United States, in my opinion, and not be willing to put your life on the line like those that you call to duty to go to war. That is why the President is the Commander in Chief.

  12. LINDA says:

    I will add one further comment, which is related to the flag amendment. We ask our son last night, a Marine Sergeant Reservist, what he would do if he saw someone burning the flag. He paused thoughtfully, and said that he would pray for them. I may have not served in the military, but I have raised a son that I am extremely proud of!

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