Immigration
10:09 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Coburn "No" On Immigration Changes

Historic immigration legislation is on track to clear the Senate by week's end following a successful test vote.

Marchers at a rally to change U.S. immigration laws.
Credit by cool revolution / Flickr Creative Commons

A final vote in the Senate on Thursday or Friday would send the issue to the House, where conservative Republicans in the majority oppose citizenship for anyone living in the country illegally. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) voted no on the immigration proposal yesterday.

“The biggest deficit that the Senate has in my mind is failure to put teeth into things they know will actually fix the problems in this country,” Coburn said while debating the vote in the Senate chamber.

He also said without “teeth” the immigration proposal just throws money at the problem at a cost of $48 billion “to buy the votes to say we’re going to have a secure border, when in fact, we’re not.”

President Barack Obama says now is the time to make changes the immigration system. The Senate's 67-to-27 vote was seven more than the 60 necessary to advance the legislation. Fifteen Republicans joined Democrats in voting yes.

“We need to make it so that the pressure is is that we do what’s best for America,” Coburn said. “One of the things that’s best for America is having a lot more people come here and contribute to our melting pot.”

But Coburn said that process needs to be politically neutral.

“But we have to have it to where it’s not, cannot, be manipulated by whoever’s in charge for political benefit,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the Senate's advancement of stronger border security provisions makes it more likely that immigration reform will pass the House and become law. He made those comments Tuesday on CBS "This Morning."