Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle feel the time for an immigration overhaul is now. What form that legislation takes is up for discussion. From left: Sens. Schumer, Durbin, Rubio and Menendez at the news conference Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., endorsed the effort as he opened the Senate on Monday afternoon. “This is a positive first step,” he said. “The real test will be to pass a bill.”
Notably, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who faces re-election next year, issued a lukewarm statement calling for regular order. “This effort is too important to be written in a back room and sent to the floor with a take-it-or-leave-it approach.”
For Durbin, though, the larger issue is as old as the nation.
“This nation of immigrants has been debating the issue of immigration since the first group got off the boat and wanted to know why the second group was coming,” Durbin said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.