The Senate Gang of Eight is expected to unveil details of its much-anticipated bipartisan immigration reform bill Tuesday.
Those familiar with the bill say it could potentially increase the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. by more than 50%. Immigration opponents say this flood of potential new workers would crowd out American workers and lower wages.
But California’s Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez says U.S. workers will be protected and wages will actually go up as a result of reform.
“We’ll have some sort of provision that will guarantee that Americans will get to the job first before we have a guest worker come into the country,” Sanchez said on Jansing & Co Monday.” Employers take advantage of people who don’t have documents in this country and offer less wages and cheat them more. Now that these people will have documents, it will actually bring up the wage rate for people.”
Sanchez also spoke at a Voto Latino immigration rally on Capitol Hill Monday morning where, as the former chair of the House Border Security committee, she addressed border security concerns.
The new bill is said to include a number of measures to tighten border security including metrics to measure how secure the border is and additional money to beef up security if the metrics are not achieved.
“I will tell you that we went from a little bit under 5,000 customs & border security people to about 23,000 today,” Sanchez said. “We have actually done a much better job of securing our borders.”
As the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea and a member of the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, Sanchez also commented on the crisis with North Korea and China’s critical role in the conflict.
“We need to have them [China] as a partner because if everything is shut off to North Korea, but China is still open, then the types of sanctions and other precautions we take won’t work as effectively,” said Rep. Sanchez.
Sanchez also agreed with Senator McCain’s comments that North Korea takes U.S. money and runs away with it.
“They rattle their weapons, then they need to feed their people and we give them food and they step aside and they wait awhile,” said Sanchez. ” This has prolonged the effort by them to get nuclear weapons. When they begin to starve their people again, they come back and do the same thing.”