“I am pleased to see the Senate engaging in bipartisan efforts to address true immigration reform and I look forward to a debate and solutions that recognize the humanity of those who reach our shores, while also recognizing the right and duty of a nation to protect its sovereignty and borders.
“As this group of Senators seeks to solve this very difficult problem, we must develop reforms that protect our vital national security interests and protect our borders to the north and south, but at the same time deal with the problem of illegal immigration in a compassionate way. While we cannot show preferential treatment to those who are here illegally over those who have waited patiently through the immigration process, we must also show an understanding for those who have fled oppression from their home countries and come here for support and security for their families.
“I have the utmost respect for Senator Marco Rubio and I look forward to a solution that not only creates long term immigration reform but solicits and welcomes input from Americans across our cultural spectrum to ensure a system that is fair, just, and genuinely reflects the culture, values and history of our country.
“Immigration is not Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative. It is not merely a legal and political issue. It is ultimately a human and moral issue. The failure to address it properly has hurt many American citizens as well as those who have crossed our borders out of desperation for themselves and their families. Solving it will require a keen effort to protect our sovereignty, our citizens – especially along the borders – and the human rights of those who have come here with lofty goals, but by unlawful means.”