With amendment killed, Rand Paul won’t support immigration bill
June 23rd, 2013
10:50 AM ET
10 months ago

With amendment killed, Rand Paul won’t support immigration bill

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul says he’ll vote “no” on the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, since it doesn’t include his amendment that would grant Congress power to determine whether the U.S. southern border is secure,

The Kentucky Republican had previously been open to supporting the measure, which includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that’s contingent on bolstering border security. Paul introduced an amendment that would have required Congress to vote on whether the border was properly secure, but it failed to gain approval this week.

Without that inclusion, Paul said definitively on CNN’s “State of the Union” he would be a “no” vote.

“Without some congressional authority and without border security first, I can't support the final bill,” Paul told chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Supporters of the comprehensive immigration reform bill need 60 votes to gain passage in the Senate, but hope a larger majority will help propel the measure in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, where its prospects appear dim. With that goal in mind, an amendment was introduced this week that vastly ramps up resources along the southern border, including 700 miles of new fence.

But Paul said Sunday that provision wasn’t sufficient, saying throwing dollars at border security programs wasn’t any guarantee the problem would be fixed.

“We've thrown a lot of money at a lot of problems in our country,” Paul said. “To me, what really tells me that they're serious would be letting Congress vote on whether the border's secure. If the people in the country want to be assured that we will not get another 10 million people to come here illegally over the next decade, they have to believe they get a vote through their Congress.”

Predicting the measure would pass the Senate but fail in the House, Paul said he didn’t trust the White House to accurately assess whether or not full security had been achieved on the border.

“I don't trust this administration or a Republican administration to really make a valid judgment,” he said. “I want Congress and the people to have the right to decide whether the border's secure.”


Filed under: Immigration • Rand Paul
soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. DiamondLily

    Hispanic Democrat from NM: NO MORE illegals!!! Our state is being taken over and all of our Medicaid, food stamps, CYFD child are funds are being used/abused by these kids who's parents have NO legal right, whatsoever to be here...

    June 23, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. callnews

    I'm glad to see that a majority of the comments agree that we must make decisions that require accountability. That's all Senator Paul is asking for.

    June 23, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Donald

    PEOPLE- Please try to understand why Dems want Amnesty for Law breaking Illegal immigrants. They never mention about enforcing the present immigration Law. Obama only said "Broken Immigration System" The system is not broken. It is perfect system there for you Government to enforce it.

    June 23, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. markiejoe

    Rand Paul seems to have all the maturity of a two-year-old. Unless I get 100% my way, I refuse to go along.

    The equivalent of a toddler tantrum in the grocery store aisle.

    June 23, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. David R

    Rand Paul is doing what is best for the country, You do not reward people with citizenship who already broke the laws to get here and then demand citizenship as if its owed to you. We don't owe you anything! This country wants people who will benefit the country and who are honest, not sneak theifs in the back door. And we don;t let in people who we don;t know who they are with hlaf the world wanting to kill this country. Rand thank you sir!

    June 23, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Michael Benjamin

    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise, Rand Paul finds it impossible to cast a yes vote for immigration legislation because a dysfunction Congress will not authority to determine when border security is obtained. The only thing more ridiculous is to set up a blue ribbon commission for that purpose.

    One might agree with Rand Paul if we had a functional Congress, but since that is not the case it highly unlikely that there would ever be an agreement as to when the border is "secure'. This is just a convenient ploy to speak to the rabid right-wing political base that supports Paul. That base is insufficient to ever hope to elect Paul to the presidency. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Ron Paul ran three unsuccessful presidential campaigns largely on the backs of the young who oppose war. The son is doing much the same with his libertarian philosophy. Don Quixote fighting windmills may make for a good CNN story, but no one ever expect Rand Paul to support immigration legislation.

    June 23, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. dman

    Congress is useless. They can't get anything accomplished. Yet now they want to determine whether the border is secure. Funny.

    June 23, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. joe sarr

    So what is the fuss about it , you don't want to vote, then don't!!!!!!!! Nobody knows what is the definition of the border security, please explain that to us clearly

    June 23, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Thomas A. Hawk

    I don't know Sen Pau's game but if the GOP doesn't make a proactive move on this issue, their own political analysts know full well that Texas will switch from Red to Blue by 2020. They are aware that the new voters in the 2020 election are already living in Texas and are 10-14 years old. Sen Paul doesn't understand, doesn't care (prefers a Democrat in the WH) or somehow thinks he can win with a bluff.

    Wonder which it is.

    June 23, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. El Flaco

    Thank God for Rand Paul. Before he was elected, Texas Senator Cornyn was the stupidest man in the Senate. Now, we Texans finally have someone to look down on.

    June 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Again, Rand Paul is just another tea person do nothing Congressman. Vote these tea people out of Congress asap

    June 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Jeff

    I admire Paul Rand all the more for standing his ground. We need more accountability in government, and this is a good first step. Before you figure out what to do with the illegals who are already here, you have to STOP the inflow of illegals. That means securing the border. Go Rand!

    June 23, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. ICCOI

    education
    raise minimum wage
    manufacturing
    infrastructure
    clean energy jobs
    job training
    fix the tax code
    close loopholes only wealthy take advantage of
    lower the cost of health care
    banking reform.
    housing
    immigration
    President and CONGRESS,PEOPLE get to work

    June 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Grapefruit

    So Rue Paul won't vote for it. Tough! No one will notice.

    June 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. VeryDave

    Paul's stance is all politics. He knows there is no way to make the US/Mexican border 100% secure...it runs the comparable distance of San Diego to Chicago. The cost of a fence and/or security could run billions of dollars...every society in history has managed to find a way to go over, around, under or simply through a border. So the question would have to be asked, "What is the definition of 'secure'?" 100%? 99.9%? If even one person managed to get across the border (walking, stuffed into a car trunk, etc.), Paul's requirement would delay the implementation of the bill indefinitely...which is what he wants. With his eyes set on running for Prez in 2016, he knows he has to appeal to the extreme right to even be considered.

    June 23, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. John Holroyd

    I have just come back from spending four months on the border in West Texas. The ranch I was working on shares the border with Mexico for forty miles or so. In the local grocery store we used to see people who came across from Mexico, legally, every week to shop. The local people have friends and relatives on both sides of the border and shop on both sides of the border every week. We should recognize that Texas used to belong to Mexico and there are people living there whose family lived on both sides of the border since before Texas separated from Mexico. Frankly the border is just an irritation that can stop almost no-one. Securing it is an illusion. I could cross it and barely get my shoes wet. Americans have visited Mexico for a meal for many, many years, without any documentation or hassles. How can we secure the border when all a Mexican needs to enter is a passport? The only way is to close the border and even then it would be porous. I repeat. Stopping illegal immigration is a joke and securing the border is just not possible. Now make employment dependent on being here legally and you may have something. My suggestion. Open the border and allow free movement but restrict employment to legal immigrants. Much easier and much more effective.

    June 23, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. 1mtnman

    Why would anyone in their right mind depend on Congress to oversee anything? These bimbo's have proved themselves to be completely brainless!

    June 23, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Norm

    You'll never secure the border. We need to secure the economy. Make e-Verify compliance mandatory then we can talk about whether people who break the law should be allowed to stay at the expense of those that follow it.

    June 23, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Howard

    We turn back or apprehend half a million illegal immigrants a year along the Southern border already.

    Instead of paying tens of billions of dollars a year more we could just make it prohibitive for anyone to hire an illegal immigrant.

    June 23, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Jason

    If this bill that focused on anything about actually stopping illegal immigration,(which they don't) they would actually focus on internal enforcement. I have not seen anything about this bill that has anything to do with actually prosecuting those who hire the illegals.

    June 23, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Jim g

    Congress can't agree on anything so putting anything up to a vote there is insane. So your amendment lost so take your ball and go home. Don't work to make the country a better place, just go pout. Hopefully, we American voters can start weeding out the whiny do nothings in Congress and put in people that take the oath of office seriously. The oath to the American people not an special interest group with cash.

    June 23, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Hotmom

    @joe Sarr , I have been laughing so hard after reading your post . Woo u nailed it! Thumbs up !

    June 23, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Dan Molden

    Do you people commenting even know what is in this bill ? How about just simply upholding the laws of the land without more govt. Spending

    June 23, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Duff

    The real question to Rand: Is the bill better than the status quo? Are you prepared to back up your do nothing "no" vote when the problem still exists over the next 10 years?

    June 23, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Jules

    Along with putting more security on the borders are we going to stop visas as well? We have a whole lot of people who come to this country on work or student visas and never leave. Some of them have driven me to the airport. They come on a student visa and then go to big cities where it is easy to get lost. More boots on the border will not solve all the problems.

    June 23, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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