Johanns, Fischer Vote to Open Debate on New Immigration Policy - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Johanns, Fischer Vote to Open Debate on New Immigration Policy

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U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer voted for a procedural motion Tuesday to allow for debate to begin on a new immigration policy.

Johanns expressed his desire to begin debate on the bill that was put together by a few senators. He said, "The current bill was written by eight senators, which means the other 92 senators should have an opportunity to offer their ideas."

"We need an open and honest debate about how best to improve our immigration policy," continued Johanns, "and this debate should include opportunities to propose and vote on amendments from both sides of the aisle.

Both Johanns and Fischer stressed after the vote that they did not vote in favor of the bill, but only voted to bring it to debate.

Fischer said, "Let me be absolutely clear: today's procedural vote in no way endorses the plan offered by the Gang of Eight. I intend to work with my colleagues to pass a number of needed conservative amendments, which would be necessary to secure my support for the legislation, including:

  • Define measurable standards and provide necessary resources to secure the border;
  • Remove the so-called ‘pathway to citizenship' so those who broke our Nation's laws are not rewarded with the privilege of citizenship;
  • Defend American workers and provide necessary labor for growing economic sectors; and
  • Protect hardworking taxpayers from paying for new government programs and benefits for illegal immigrants."

Similarly, Johanns would like to see included in the immigration bill:

  • Significantly and measurably improve border security,
  • Prioritize immigrants seeking to legally gain American citizenship over those who broke the law,
  • Enforce workplace eligibility requirements,
  • Prohibit tax refunds for illegal immigrants in excess of taxes paid, and
  • Disclose to taxpayers the full cost of immigration reform

The procedural motion to begin debate passed with a 82-15 vote.

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