The PJ Tatler

Obama: 'Now Is the Time When Opponents Will Try Their Hardest to Pull This Apart'

The Senate has passed the Group of Eight immigration bill 68-32. Some initial reaction from the Hill…

“Arizonans have had to wait far too long for Congress to take action to fix our broken immigration system. I am pleased to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting the passage of comprehensive reform legislation. While neither side got everything it wanted, this legislation goes a long way toward securing our borders, modernizes our legal immigration system, spurs economic growth and provides a tough-but-fair solution to those here illegally. Now, it’s time for the House to act.”  — Group of Eight Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)

“The landmark legislation the Senate approved today will finally secure our borders and fix our broken immigration system. This bipartisan proposal represents an historic opportunity for our nation, and I’m hopeful that as this debate moves to the House of Representatives, it will receive fair consideration. Today’s vote is also significant because it demonstrates that members of both parties can work together to get things done. I hope that this spirit of bipartisan cooperation will extend to other issues that urgently need to be addressed, especially our nation’s fiscal situation.” — Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

“I am hopeful that my colleagues in the House of Representatives will not let this key part of the debate — jobsite enforcement — fall to the wayside.  I will continue to push them to strengthen not only E-Verify but also border security. Without addressing the magnet that draws people here illegally, I believe any immigration reform effort will unfortunately fail.” — Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), whose amendment was blocked from the floor and who voted no on the bill

“It is encouraging, and truly, a breath of fresh air that Congress approached immigration reform in a bipartisan manner led by Senators from border states that deal with this issue every day.” — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who voted yes

“There’s no question our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed, beginning with securing our border before moving forward with other aspects of reform. Unfortunately, the legislation that passed today does not take that necessary step. I believe we can and should tackle immigration reform with targeted, responsible efforts that secure the border, enforce existing laws, and create a workable, efficient system for future immigrants. I am hopeful that we will arrive at a more focused final product that fixes our immigration challenges and finally addresses the realities along our border.” — Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who voted no

“I thank Majority Leader Reid, Senator Leahy, Senator Schumer, and every member of the ‘Gang of Eight’ for their leadership, and I commend all Senators who worked across party lines to get this done. The bipartisan bill that passed today was a compromise.  By definition, nobody got everything they wanted. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not me. But the Senate bill is consistent with the key principles for commonsense reform that I – and many others – have repeatedly laid out…As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye.  Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop commonsense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen.” — President Obama