Virginia Dem Suggests 'ID Document' for Illegal Immigrants to Show They're 'Not Breaking Any Laws'

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said he would support legislation to simplify the immigration visa system if both parties cannot come to an agreement on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“Absolutely, as we make sure that people are properly vetted for Homeland Security purposes. But, yeah, even the path to citizenship, there’s much we can do before that — letting people get driver’s licenses, making sure people are paying taxes — those aren't necessarily citizenship but it takes them out of the shadows, takes the families away from fear,” he told PJM at the Virginia Democrats’ election results event in the Beltway on Tuesday evening.

“As a Democrat I would like comprehensive immigration reform, but I’ve talked to Bob Goodlatte, the [Virginia Republican] congressman who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and if there are incremental steps let’s take the incremental steps — things that we can agree on,” he added.

Beyer suggested that the first step on immigration should be some kind of “identification document” that recognizes the presence of an undocumented immigrant who is paying taxes and “not breaking any laws.”

“Do that first before creating the path to citizenship and that might be something we can get a lot of Republican votes for,” he said.

Beyer said the current level of border protection is sufficient, calling the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a “silly idea” that is never going to happen.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told PJM the visa process needs changes. He recommended that Congress reconsider the comprehensive immigration reform bill that failed in the Senate in 2013.

“Clearly there are needs to have reforms of the visa process and both on H1B and H2B, both of those programs need reform. I know in terms of agriculture workers there are a lot of Virginia jobs that would be lost, particularly in the seafood industry if we didn’t have the guest-worker program,” he said.

Warner was asked if he agrees with Vice President Biden that Democrats need to examine what drove Donald Trump’s supporters to the polls.