Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) acknowledged Wednesday that he will not support the Senate’s immigration bill until a plan for stronger border security is in place.
Speaking before the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Paul – who is in favor of immigration reform – believes that the Senate Gang of Eight’s bill doesn’t properly deal with the issue of border security, and that conservatives need to see a solution that better ensures increased border security if the legislation is to pass both chambers.
“I’m not yet ready to vote for the Senate bill unless they’re willing to listen to people who say ‘let’s make the borders secure,’” Paul said. “It’s absolutely vital for both the success of our immigration policy and for purposes of national security that we do secure our borders.”
In fact, the Kentucky senator plans to introduce his own amendment to the Senate bill that would put Congress in charge of the plan for border security, not the Department of Homeland Security. He believes that this amendment will go a long way toward bringing House Republicans onboard with the Senate’s plan.
Paul still feels that Republicans have to be more accepting of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country, however, noting that it is unfair for them to look down upon Hispanic immigrants who may only receive a high school diploma.
“I think that’s why when you see these statistics saying ‘Oh everybody that’s coming here that’s Hispanic is only going to have a high school degree.’ Well they’re saying somehow Hispanics are different then other immigrants. Each generation usually does better. That’s what’s great about it,” he said.
He also reminded the conference of how America will benefit financially by assimilating the 12 million undocumented workers already in the country into contributing taxpayers.
“This is where prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into being taxpaying members of society,” he said. “Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.12 million more people assimilating into society. Twelve million more people being productive contributors.”