June 12th, 2007
12:55 PM ET
4 years ago

Sessions: Bush needs to 'back off' on immigration

Watch Sen. Sessions discuss his views on the immigration bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush faces a tall order when he joins Republican senators Tuesday at their weekly policy luncheon at the Capitol in an effort to revive the immigration bill, one of his legislative priorities.

Unless Bush can convince 15 more Republicans to support the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, indicated he won't bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

"I think the president is wrong to push this piece of legislation so hard after we've demonstrated the flaws that are in it. He needs to back off," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, told CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday.

"He needs to back off. He needs to help us write a better bill and not push a bill that so many of us can't support."

Sessions disagreed with Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who also was on the program, that this is the last chance to pass legislation addressing the nation's some 12 million illegal immigrants, about half of whom crossed into Arizona from Mexico.

"We have one good opportunity to pass immigration reform, and its within the next few weeks in the U.S. Congress. I think all of the experts agree that thereafter we get into the presidential/political season. Next year it's not going to be possible," Kyl said.

"I think the president understands that this is really our last best hope to get legislation through, that we just cannot sit by and do nothing," Kyl said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said on "American Morning" he expects Republicans to band together to add amendments to the bill, and it could be voted on by the end of Tuesday - after senators take up the energy bill.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Al, KS

    I will live to regret this, but I find that I can agree with some of what the Republicans are saying. That border just cannot be secure without more agents. You can build all of the fencing and walls you want, but without people to guard them, the fences are worthless. This problem is going to take people...border patrol, employment investigators, ICE officials...more people to enforce the laws that exist. And it is going to take more cooporation with local officials. If they can control the border and illegal employers,I will be comfortable talking about the 12-20 million who are here...but until then...

    June 12, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Steve, Albany NY

    Why is this the last chance to pass legislation on Immigration reform? If it's as important to the politicians as it is to the American people, then regardless of wether or not it's an election year the issue should take center stage. A statement such as “We have one good opportunity to pass immigration reform, and its within the next few weeks in the U.S. Congress" gives me the impression that they (the White House/Congress) are trying to convince the American public that if we do not accept whats out there right now in the form of legislation,wether it's good or bad, than nothing will get done at all. This legislation seems somewhat one sided in that it benefits 2 classes of people. The first class is the immigrants who came here illegally and the buisness owners and wealthy individuals who can profit from exploiting these illegal workers. It seems to leave out the largest group of people and those are the working class Americans who pay the price for these foolish endeavors our elected officials who cater to big money influence and self preservation get us into.

    June 12, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Michelle, South Africa

    I am married to a US citizen but we are currently living in my country as although they have never refused it, is close to impossible for me to get a residence permit for the US. For me to be able to live in the US we would first have to endure a lengthy separation (at least 3 years).
    This new immigration bill is a slap in the face for anyone who is legally trying to immigrate to the US. We are made to jump through hoops just to prove we will not be a burden on the welfare system (even if you are highly qualified and able to contribute to the economy)but with this new bill it seems when you enter the country illegally everything is handed to you on a silver platter.

    June 13, 2007 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  4. LIZ,LILBURN,GA

    BUSH NEEDS TO DO ANOTHER BILL SAYING "IF YOU WANT TO FIX YOUR PAPER OF IMMIGRATION THAN YOU HAVE TO PAY FINE FOR EVERYTHING, IF NOT I HAVE TO SEND YOU BACK TO MEXICO. THOSE WHO ARE MARRIED FOR 3 YEARS OR MORE CAN RECEIVE THE PAPER IF YOU APPLY AND PAY THE AMOUNT WITHOUT LEAVING THE COUNTRY,JUST DON'T DRIVE/CAN'T WORK JUST YOUR SPOUSE CAN WORK...

    December 26, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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