Washington DC- Today U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on the Senate passage of Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act:
“Today, after many weeks of debate, the Senate passed the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). While this is not a perfect bill, I am pleased that members on both sides of the aisle have come together to fix our broken immigration system.
The United States is a nation of immigrants. However, few would disagree that our immigration system as it exists today is broken. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that in 2011 there were approximately 11.1 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., compared to 12 million in 2007 and 8.4 million in 2000. These numbers reveal the serious challenges we face as a Nation in determining how to address the undocumented immigrants currently here, how best to secure our borders and how to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants who come to the U.S. each year.
I believe we must continue to prioritize a secure border. I have supported provisions in this bill that will double the number of border patrol agents, as well as placing strategic fencing at critical crossing points along the border, measures that have helped to significantly reduce the number of incoming unauthorized immigrants. I also believe that the government must enforce existing laws that include harsh penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants.
This bill will strengthen our borders, set forth a fair path to earned citizenship, reduce the deficit by $700 billion, and strengthen our economy.”