Tags: Immigration | james lankford | debate | necessary | merit-based | immigration plan

Lankford: Debate Necessary on Merit-Based Immigration Plan

Fox News' "America's Newsroom"

By    |   Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 02:52 PM

Most people believe people who come into the United States as legal immigrants are going to join the nation's economy, but that is not necessarily true, Sen. James Lankford said Thursday while calling for a debate on President Donald Trump's plan to switch to a more merit-based immigration system.

"Seventy percent of the people come because they have a family connection, and not necessarily because they are starting to engage in the economy," the Oklahoma Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "Most other nations around the world, their immigration that comes to their country comes first because they want to be part of a certain job or job field, and they are coming to the country bringing more skills to be able to advance that."

He said he does hope for a debate in the Senate, even though the 60-vote threshold has been used to keep debate on critical issues from happening.

"I proposed to make a change in that rule so that we can get on and debate any issue," said Lankford. "It is absurd to say we can't talk about it. Immigration and illegal immigration is a big issue as well as legal. Let's actually have debate on it and try the get to a resolution."

The senator said in a recent opinion piece that it is time for lawmakers to end hyper-partisanship and serve the needs of the American people, but it will require fundamental changes while not eliminating the filibuster entirely.

"Most people don't know there are two votes on every bill," he said. "You have to have 60 people to agree to start debate and 60 people to agree to end debate and then when you pass the bill it just takes 51. What I'm proposing is taking away the first one. It takes a simple majority to open up debate."

Changes are also needed on how nominations are handled, Lankford continued.

"Democrats have held up the nominations for President Trump to where he can't get his staff in place," said the senator. "Typically a president would have 200 staff brought through senate confirmation. President Trump has 50 at this point. It has been this deliberate slow walking of these nominations. We need to stop that so a president can bring their own staff on board."

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Most people believe people who come into the United States as legal immigrants are going to join the nation's economy, but that is not necessarily true, Sen. James Lankford said Thursday while calling for a debate on President Donald Trump's plan to switch to a more...
james lankford, debate, necessary, merit-based, immigration plan
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2017-52-03
Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 02:52 PM
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