Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) says an immigration overhaul bill passed by the Senate Thursday creates a responsible and fair policy that, while not perfect, helps fix a broken immigration system. But Senator Dan Coats (R-Indiana) does not share his view.
The Senate-approved immigration overhaul bill adds hundreds of miles of U.S. border fence, thousands of new border agents and provides billions of dollars for new equipment and technology.
Donnelly says the legislation provides undocumented immigrants a lengthy path to citizenship only after the border security measures are underway.
“The bill requires undocumented immigrants who have broken the law to register with the government, to pay taxes, to pay fines, to learn English and to go to the back of the line,” he says.
Donnelly says strengthening border security was his top priority for the bill. In a statement, Coats, who voted against the legislation, says immigration reform needs to ensure efforts to strengthen border security are working before a path to citizenship can begin.
But he says the Senate measure only requires the government to promise increased security measures. Coats says he hopes the House develops what he calls “more credible” legislation.