McCaskill: Time is Now to Debate Immigration Policy

Senator supports comprehensive reform to fix ‘our broken immigration system’

WASHINGTON – After weeks of pressure from U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and her colleagues, Republican leaders in the Senate today have reversed course and have moved to fund the Department of Homeland Security, without controversial policy riders related to immigration. After voting to support that clean Homeland Security funding bill, McCaskill also voted to open a debate on immigration policy, and reaffirmed her support for comprehensive immigration reform like that approved in the Senate nearly two years ago.

“I’m glad Senate Republican leaders have seen the light on the need to fund our Homeland Security without veto-bait policy riders—though it’s disappointing they’ve wasted weeks of time, and we’ve still got a ways to go to get a clean funding bill across the finish line,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee.

“With Senate passage of clean funding for Homeland Security, I also still believe in a comprehensive plan to fix our broken immigration system,” added McCaskill, who voted to support comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. “And given the opportunity to open a debate on immigration policy today, I welcomed it. A good place to start that debate would be the Senate’s bill from two years ago that got broad bipartisan support. Unfortunately, leaders in the U.S. House have refused over the past two years to even bring that measure up for debate. But a comprehensive plan is the only way to tackle this broken system, and that’s still my goal today.”

The comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would have dramatically strengthened border security, held employers who hire undocumented immigrants accountable, punished those who came to the country illegally—while ensuring they start paying into the system—and would have reduced the national deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. The bill got broad, bipartisan support from 68 Senators, earning the support of conservative Republican Senators including Marco Rubio of Florida, John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The bill was strongly supported by groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Farm Bureau.

To date, the U.S. House of Representatives has failed to act on the legislation.

Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/immigration to learn more about McCaskill’s views on immigration reform.

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