Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) urged caution to the Group of Eight immigration reform negotiators, saying his “heart bleeds every time I hear people talking about an easier way for illegals to become citizens.”
“I know there’s a Gang of 8, some four Democrats and four Republicans. My concern there is what they’re doing on this what they call the path to legal immigration, the path to citizenship,” Inhofe said on CNN yesterday, noting the volume of naturalization ceremonies he’s attended. “And I look at these people who came over the legal way, the hard way.”
Inhofe said just the fact that his four Republican colleagues on the Group of Eight — Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — may support a final proposal doesn’t mean he necessarily will.
“First of all, there are so many unknown things right now. There’s no — when they talk about a path to citizenship, they don’t have any of the details. We now know that Pat Leahy wants it to go through his committee. It’s going to have all of these amendments,” the senator said.
“And so I would almost say to my good friends, the Republicans and Democrats, they don’t know enough right now in terms of what they’ve put together. There are too many things, too many changes that could take place. There is no specific path to legal entry. And there’s no specific path to citizenship. And there’s not any answers in terms of the border. So it’s a work in progress.”
Inhofe said he has no intention of filibustering, though.
“I just know that I am concerned about the citizenship. I am concerned about what is happening with those who have done it the legal way,” he said. “And I want to hear the answers to where are there going to be fences, where are there going to be detentions, what type of equipment? I’m the ranking member on Armed Services, I need to know what of our equipment is going to be necessary on any ultimate solution to the immigration problem.”
“I don’t think we’re there yet. I don’t think that they have the specific answers. And for those who say that they do, they haven’t gone through Pat Leahy’s committee yet.”