One of the major actors in federal immigration policy, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, said the comprehensive bill the Senate passed today is the wrong approach.
“I have many concerns about its bill. The bill repeats many of the same mistakes made in the 1986 immigration law, which got us into this mess in the first place,” Goodlatte said.
He said the Senate bill does not do enough to address enforcement of immigration law inside the nation’s borders, and gives too much free scope to agencies to waive many of the bill’s requirements.
Goodlatte, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, prefers a step by step approach to reforming immigration law, and has set the committee on that course. The committee has approved several bills that address specific immigration issues.
Sen. Tim Kaine, who was among the 68 Senators voting for the bill, called it “the clearest signal yet that regardless of party, our nation is ready to fix our broken immigration system.”
He said the bill improved border security, updated the nation’s visa system and sets out a clear path for people who want to gain legal status to stay in the United States.
“With passage of this important legislation, I’m proud that we’re continuing in the tradition of the English settlers who helped begin our nation’s great history as an immigrant nation when they landed at Jamestown in 1607,” he said. “Today we have demonstrated that while we are a nation of laws, we are also a nation of fairness and equality.”