Originally published by VOXXI as “Sen. Kelly Ayotte endorses immigration overhaul.”
BY JULIANA BARRERA
Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte on Sunday threw her support behind a sweeping U.S. immigration bill, calling it a “thoughtful” reform that would ease the burden of illegal immigration. Ayotte supports bipartisan immigration reform saying the current system is “unworthy” of a great nation.
“Our immigration system is completely broken,” Ayotte, of New Hampshire, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” program. “This is a thoughtful, bipartisan solution to a tough problem, and so that is why I am going to support it.”
Ayotte endorses immigration overhaul
Ayotte said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the Gang of Eight bill fixes the problems in the nation’s border security and legal immigration systems. She is the first Republican not on the Gang of Eight, which drafted the legislation, to say she will vote for the bill.
That brings supporters closer to building a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes.
Ayotte’s support helps the bill’s advocates move closer to the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.
“The status quo isn’t working. It’s de facto amnesty. We need immigration reform that serves the best interests of our country,” Ayotte wrote on her website.
The legislation creates a 13-year route to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.
The bill is a “tough but fair way” for the estimated 11 million to come “out of the shadows” and “earn citizenship — go to the back of the line, pay taxes, pass a criminal background check, learn English,” Ayotte told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
It also sets border security goals that the government must meet before immigrants living in the U.S. illegally are granted any change in status.
“As a nation of immigrants, we must remember that we’re all descended from people who came here from somewhere else in search of a better life,” she said.
“But the broken immigration system we have now is unworthy of a great nation,” she added. “It’s time for Washington to tackle this problem head on.”
According to the Associated Press, In 2012, President Barack Obama won re-election with the backing of 71 percent of Hispanic voters and 73 percent of Asian voters. A thwarted immigration overhaul could send those voting blocs more solidly to Democrats’ side in future elections. That has led some Republican lawmakers to support immigration reform, but the party’s conservative base still opposes any legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally.
Sen. Ayotte endorses immigration reform on “Face The Nation”: