Toomey, Blumenthal, Lankford, Coons

The vehicle for the immigration bill (H.R. 2579)

Senator Toomey: (4:03 p.m)

  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "He was in the U.S illegally, he was deported in 2009, but illegally reentered the U.S and in 2015 the police arrested him on charges of aggravated assalts and other crimes. When the background check went through, the Department of Homeland Security saw the Philadelphia police had this guy. They knew who this guy was. They knew he was here illegally and knew he had been deported and knew him to be the dangerous criminal that he was and so they asked the Philadelphia police, could you hold this guy for 24, 48 hours until we can get an agent there to take him into custody and begin deportation proceedings. We know he's a bad guy. We want him out of the country. Unfortunately, Philadelphia police had to refuse. Instead, they released him on to the streets in January of 2015."


Senator Blumenthal: (4:21 p.m)

  • Spoke on the shooting in Florida.
    • "Watching the pictures today as I came here to the floor was deeply moving, even though there is much that we don't know, a lot of information that we lack about what is happening at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The images of emergency vehicles and emergency responders of young people and children evacuating a school after another tragic incident of gun violence. It brings back memories that are searing and harrowing. Once again, we feel that churning in our stomach, that sense of gut punch, and a wrenching of hearts that reminds us of how we felt the day of violence in Newtown."
  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "The dreamers who would be covered under legislation that I hope will pass in the next 24 hours came here as children. They grew up as Americans. This country is the only one they know. English is the only language. Many of them speak. They go to our schools, serve in our military, and support our economy. They believe in the American dream. All of us believe in the American dream but so do they, and they work hard and give back."


Senator Lankford: (4:43 p.m)

  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "This has been dealt with literally with hearings for decades. But what I've heard for the past several months is, there's no time to do any of those things. The only time that we have is to deal with DACA. We can't discuss anything else. Meeting after meeting after meeting, since early November I've heard the same thing. There's no time, there's no time, there's no time. Now we're getting down to the day and there's still a conversation about how do we deal with these four simple issues we've talked about for months. The house and senate have debated for decades. We've had untold number of hearings on for decades on these issues to try to actually land them, to get legislation ready, and to get this resolved."


Senator Coons: (5:01 p.m)

  • Spoke on DACA.
    • "The whole point is that we may be boisterous and intemperate, which John has certainly also been accused of being a time or two, but we don't stop striving for our ideals, believing in our future and respecting one another. That's often difficult, especially here in politics. But it is the challenge that comes with the blessings of liberty and of serving this great country. So I was honored when Senator McCain reached out to me a week ago to say let's work together to introduce in the senate legislation that could help solve our most pressing immigration issues and keep our country moving forward. The bipartisan bill that we have introduced, the McCain-Coons bill, here in the Senate doesn't solve every immigration issue we face and it doesn't try to."