Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator, Mark Pryor, says he still needs to review a new immigration proposal before deciding how to vote.
The bipartisan plan crafted by eight senators includes increased border security measures and a decade-long process to grant citizenship to 12 million undocumented immigrants. Pryor says there are key goals that must be a part of any plan he could support.
“We need to enforce the laws we have on the books, we need to strengthen our borders, and we need to implement the employee verification of the SAVE Act. I think we need to do that economy-wide,” said Pryor. “I’ve had a bill to do those things for the last few years and we’ve not been able to get any traction, because it would have to be part of a larger immigration deal.”
The SAVE Act is a measure Pryor introduced back in 2009 that was supposed to provide a comprehensive approach to immigration enforcement by securing the borders, enhancing internal security measures, and putting an end to unlawful employment.
Senator John Boozman says the new immigration proposal before lawmakers is about 800 pages and his team is looking through it.
“Whatever plan you come up with, if you don’t secure the border and if you don’t make it such that people who come over here on visas actually leave after their visas expire then you’ll be in the same position that we’re in now,” Boozman said. “I’ll be looking at their plans for border security and other measures to hold employer’s accountable.”
Boozman says no one likes to see families separated, yet you have to do things in a responsible manner because we’re a nation of laws and laws need to be enforced to prevent chaos.
The bipartisan immigration plan is also supposed to streamline the visa process for temporary worker programs and clear the entire backlog of family-based visa applicants within 10 years.