Iowa Senator Tom Harkin today spoke in favor of the proposed Senate immigration plan. During debate on the Senate floor, the democrat, defended the controversial program that would let immigrants already illegally in the U.S. gain their citizenship.
Harkin says,”We’re not talking about amnesty. That would be wrong.” Harkin says it’s an earned program of legalization that allows the illegals to earn their way by working, paying a fine and learning English.
Harkin says there are 11 to 12 million illegal aliens in the country. He says, “Now many of them are here, they have children, the have other family members who are U.S. citizens. They’re contributing to our prosperity. they’re making a big contribution to our society. They may be undocumented, they may be living in the shadows, but make no mistake, they are defacto members of our American community. They are integrated into the fabric of our national life. They’re filling jobs that in most cases go unfilled, and they’re not going away.”
Harkin says the Senate bill is a fair way to handle the situation. Harkin says, “Let’s not delude ourselves with so-called simple solutions that are unworkable, unaffordable and just plain mean spirited.” Harkin cites the House bill that he “criminalize” undocumented immigrants and make it a crime to help undocumented aliens. Harkin asks who would round of the 11 to 12 million illegal aliens.
Harkin says the worker program offers a solution that lets illegal aliens work their way to citizenship. Harkin says the illegal aliens would get five years and then get a green card status and could apply for residency status, and after ten years they could apply for citizenship. Harkin says they would also pay a fine that would help pay for the documentation. “And lastly, we don’t need a wall around our borders. We can used unmanned aerial vehicles, censors, guardposts.”
Iowa’s other Senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, says he voted against the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley says he opposed the overall bill because of the “amnesty” clause which would allow illegals who are in the U.S. for a number of years to become legal.