Immigration reform shouldn’t have to wait for the border to be secured, Rep. Loretta Sanchez argued on Jansing & Co. Tuesday.
“We will never have enough border security, that’s one of the reasons we shouldn’t really tie that to these families who want to be here, who have been here,” said Sanchez, a California Democrat and a member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committee. “They’re PTA moms, they volunteer in the classroom—not just for their child, but for all children.”
A proposal released Monday by a bipartisan group of eight senators insists that the U.S. border be certified as secure before undocumented immigrants currently in the country can obtain permanent citizenship. Under the plan, a commission of border state elected and law enforcement officials would analyze statistics and look at the border to determine whether it’s secure—though there’s confusion over whether they or the Department of Homeland Security would make the final decision.
Another obstacle to immigration reform could be House Republicans, said Sanchez.
“We have seen in things over and over, whether it’s the debt ceiling or sequestration or what have you, that they have dragged their feet. That they have had a particular group of people within their own conference that has pulled back from making deals,” she said.
But Sanchez added that she remains hopeful they can reach a deal.
“People continue to say that this is a political issue,” she said. “It’s not really a political issue, it’s the right thing for America … from a family values standpoint, we need to keep our families united.”