Sens. Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham, co-authors of a stalled bipartisan comprehensive immigration plan that includes a “path to citizenship” for the country’s estimated 12 million illegals, said Sunday that Tuesday’s election results have created a new impetus for reforms.
In an appearance Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Tuesday’s election sent a clear signal to Republicans.
“I think we have a darn good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year,” he said. “The Republican Party has learned that being anti-immigrant doesn’t work for them politically and they know it.”
Mr. Schumer said the “path to citizenship” — often denounced by anti-illegal immigration activists as “amnesty” — would would require of immigrants that “you have to learn English, you have to go to the back of the line, you got to have a job and you can’t commit crimes.”
Mr. Graham, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said the falling support for Republicans among Hispanic voters is a trend the party has to address.
“It’s one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, just don’t reload the gun,” he said. “[Republicans] have no one to blame but themselves when it comes to losing Hispanics and we can get them back with some effort on our part.”
The South Carolina Republican acknowledged that the Schumer-Graham plan includes a pathway to citizenship, but only after the Southwest border is secured.
“You do nothing until you fix the border,” he said. “When it comes to the 12 million, we need to be firm and fair. Self-deportation’s not going to work.”