Corker-Hoeven Immigration Bill Amendment Created by Gang of Eight
Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced a "border security" amendment to the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill on Thursday.
When asked by Breitbart News, however, both Republicans conceded that Gang of Eight members were involved in writing the measure.
"The entire 'Gang' has been involved--and, I might add, is still involved. All of our offices have been like switchboard operators for the last ten days and all of the 'Gang' has been involved and very helpful and in particular on the other side of the aisle Senator Schumer and Senator Menendez have been very active, " Sen. Corker said.
Hoeven and Corker claim that the amendment would make border security a priority before immigrants could receive a green card. However, Sen Cruz (R-TX) criticized the amendment, telling Breitbart News the amendment would "put legalization before securing the border."
Sen. Corker disagreed with Cruz, listing specific provisions of the amendment such as 20,000 additional border patrol agents, 700 miles of border fencing, and an e-verify system for immigrant workers.
"All of these things have to be in place before they receive their green card status. So that’s just not true," Corker said of Cruz's claims. "And this is very measurable," he added.
Hoeven agreed with Corker that work with the Gang of Eight has been necessary, adding: "And that’s necessary, because we’ve got to come up with a good solution. It’s got to get bipartisan support and it needs to pass and the whole point is we’re trying to pass something that people think works, so we’re talking a big bipartisan vote not just getting by."
According to Corker, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will leave the floor open long enough for the amendment to move through Senate procedures. The measure is sill being vetted on both sides of the aisle, Corker told reporters, and in other places. Corker told reporters that at least fourteen Republicans are ready to support the bill now. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) joined Hoeven and Corker and told reporters their amendment helped bring him over his support for the overall bill.
"If anybody on either side of the aisle had any concerns what so ever about the border being secure, I think if you look at the provisions in the amendment you can see if that’s been their issue, certainly securing the border should not be an issue if this amendment passes," Corker said, adding, "I do think that based on the conversations we’ve had with many of our colleagues that if this amendment can pass I think it can add tremendous momentum to the bill."