Statement from Senators Chambliss and Isakson on the immigration bill.
The United States Senate is debating the most critical domestic issue facing our nation: illegal immigration.
We are seeking to ensure that any reform Congress enacts will truly secure our borders first before any reform of our temporary worker system takes place. If you grant legal status to those here illegally without first securing the border, millions more will flood into our country illegally. That's exactly what happened with the flawed immigration law that was passed in 1986, and our country has been paying the price ever since.
Last year, a Republican-led Senate easily passed a bill to grant legal status to illegal immigrants without securing our nation's borders. We voted against that bill because it would have guaranteed a repeat of 1986, when Congress granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants but failed to secure the border.
We demanded to have a seat at the table in drafting this year's immigration reform legislation to ensure that the new Democratic-controlled Congress wouldn't repeat last year's bill or the failed 1986 Act. We could have chosen to sit on the sidelines and simply complain about the other party, but instead we have fought hard in a difficult political environment to ensure that the principles of our constituents in Georgia are included.