Reid: Republican Immigration Bills Promote Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric With Action

“These bills follow Trump’s lead in demonizing and criminalizing immigrant and Latino families.”

“Republicans want red meat going into their convention and desperately want to pivot from the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation and the epidemic of Zika. But Americans deserve a real solution to our broken immigration system – not political games and dog whistle politics.”

“The Republican leader said he wants a robust amendment process. Well, we would be happy to give him one. We’ll have a number of amendments on guns. We’ll have a number of amendments on Zika and we’ll do something about comprehensive immigration reform. So we’re going to take a look at that. We may just get on that bill and find out if we’re going to have this robust amendment process.”

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senator floor today about proposals by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and Texas Senator Ted Cruz that would target immigrant families and make the job of law enforcement harder. Below are his remarks:

Senate Republicans today will promote Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric with actions.

This afternoon, the Senate will vote to consider a pair of bills proposed by the junior senators from Pennsylvania and Texas. These bills follow Trump’s lead in demonizing and criminalizing immigrant and Latino families.

Senator Toomey’s bill would undermine the ability of local law enforcement to police their own communities and ensure public safety. It would deny millions of dollars of critical community and economic development funding to cities and states that refuse to target immigrant families.

Senator Toomey’s legislation would simply create more problems. It wouldn’t solve anything. Not surprisingly, it is opposed by mayors, domestic violence groups, Latino and civil rights groups and labor organizations.

Senator Cruz’s bill is no better.

It would enact unnecessary mandatory-minimum sentences that would cost billions and billions of new dollars, increase the prison population and siphon funding from state and local law enforcement.

Worst of all, this sort of partisan, piecemeal approach undermines bipartisan efforts to enact badly needed reforms to our criminal justice system.

The assistant Democratic leader has worked for years on doing something about the criminal justice system. He’s been joined by a bipartisan group of people to get something done. But again the Republican leader is too interested in doing things that mean nothing.

By pursuing legislation targeting so-called “sanctuary cities,” Republicans are legislating Donald Trump’s vision that immigrants and Latinos are criminals and threats to the public.

Republicans want red meat going into their convention and desperately want to pivot from the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation and the epidemic of Zika.

But Americans deserve a real solution to our broken immigration system – not political games and dog whistle politics.

If Senator McConnell wants to bring this legislation to the floor, we’re going to take a serious look at it. Maybe getting on the bill might be the right thing to do.

The Republican leader said he wants a robust amendment process. Well, we would be happy to give him one. We’ll have a number of amendments on guns. We’ll have a number of amendments on Zika and we’ll do something about comprehensive immigration reform. So we’re going to take a look at that. We may just get on that bill and find out if we’re going to have this robust amendment process.

Let’s address comprehensive immigration reform, guns, Zika and other issues. We’re happy to do that. This may be an opportunity for us to move forward on those issues.