Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday that he’s open to granting legal status to children brought to the U.S. illegally as part of his proposed legislation.
“My legislation doesn’t include that now, but what I’m proposing is that we can sit down and negotiate, include legal status for the 600,000 to 800,000 people who are covered by the DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] program, and discuss the problem,” Mr. Cotton, Arkansas Republican, said on MSNBC.
“That would create a secondary effect, make sure we’re not opening legal status for people who violated law in the first place, and that we’re not encouraging parents in the future to bring their children across our border,” he added.
Mr. Cotton’s proposed RAISE Act aims to build a skills-based immigration system similar to Canada or Australia while decreasing the amount of legal immigration overall. He and Sen. David Perdue, Georgia Republican, who helped draft the bill, say this will increase competition in the immigration system, bettering the overall economy. Mr. Cotton also said that his policy would fix the immediate problem and be a first step toward incrementally changing the broken immigration system.
“I’m saying that we shouldn’t try to do the same thing Congress has failed to do three times in the last 11 years, which is solve every single problem we have. We should address the problem in front of us and mitigate the consequences of that action,” he said.