Robert Menendez

11/29/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2023 21:46

Sen. Menendez Delivers Remarks Opposing Ongoing GOP Efforts to Attach Harmful Immigration Proposals to the National Security Supplemental Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor on his opposition to ongoing efforts to attach harmful immigration proposals to the national security supplemental package currently being negotiated in the Senate.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE SENATOR'S FULL REMARKS]

"It is the height of absurdity to claim that the price for assisting our international allies is gutting our asylum and humanitarian parole laws. Democrats should not and cannot not stand idly by while asylum seekers and immigrant families are imperiled by a handful of Senators operating in total darkness without any meaningful feedback from a broader coalition of Hispanic, Black, and Asian legislators, advocates, and others who should be helping shape these negotiation," said Sen. Menendez. "For all those who care about the future of immigrants in this country - indeed our very identity as a beacon of freedom and hope for those seeking a better life - now is the time to make your voice heard."

Below are Senator Menendez's remarks as prepared for delivery:

M. President - before I yield the floor, I'd like to take a moment to forcefully oppose ongoing efforts to attach harmful immigration proposals to the national security supplemental package we are considering.

It is the height of absurdity to claim that the price for assisting our international allies is gutting our asylum and humanitarian parole laws.

Democrats should not and cannot not stand idly by while asylum seekers and immigrant families are imperiled by a handful of Senators operating in total darkness without any meaningful feedback from a broader coalition of Hispanic, Black, and Asian legislators, advocates, and others who should be helping shape these negotiations.

For all those who care about the future of immigrants in this country - indeed our very identity as a beacon of freedom and hope for those seeking a better life - now is the time to make your voice heard.

Now is the time to make it clear that we will not allow our asylum and humanitarian parole laws to be gutted while undocumented immigrants, including Dreamers, TPS recipients, farm workers, and essential workers are forced to stay in the shadows.

Now is the time to make it clear that we will not stand by as some try to fundamentally change our immigration system without any transparent, deliberative process.

This is the time to make it clear that we should not be codifying asylum and transit bans into law - failed policies that will do nothing to mitigate the flow of migration.

Moreover, now is the time for my Democratic colleagues in both the Senate and the House to meet the moment.

This is our clarion call.

We must find the moral courage to do what is right.

Otherwise, what are we doing here?

How are we supposed to face our constituents and immigrant families across the nation and argue that we are the party that stands with immigrants?

We cannot capitulate to an extremist Republican Party that is more interested in demonizing and hurting immigrants than working together in good faith to fix our immigration system.

We must reject the notion that playing our role as the defender of freedom and democracy around the world comes at the cost of our own identity as a nation of immigrants.

We are the United States of America. Let's start acting like it.

Thank you, with that I yield the floor.

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