(CNS News) -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that U.S.-Mexico border is "absolutely not" secure.
"You can’t be a secure, sovereign nation if you have an open border," Grassley said.
“The president of the United States ought to uphold the law, and he’s inviting violation of the law," said Grassley.
At the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should illegal aliens be given a pathway to citizenship?”
Senator Grassley said, “That would have to be part of a comprehensive piece of legislation. If you’re asking me just cold out as a separate issue, should they have a path to citizenship, the answer is no. But when you’re negotiating a bipartisan piece of legislation, what you call comprehensive immigration, that could be a part of it.”
“But I would say it would be a pathway that would be fairly long and you can’t have criminal activity and they have to pay all their taxes,” he said.
In a follow-up question, CNS News asked, “And is our southwestern border secure now?”
Senator Grassley said, “Oh, absolutely not. We have an open border. You can’t be a secure, sovereign nation if you have an open border. No, they, we had — we were on a path to having a secure border, when you build a fence, and the fence should have been completed.”
He continued, “And I was down there three months ago and the Border Patrol told us that they were called in to advise a transition team before Biden was president, and they were asked what to do about the border.
“The Border Patrol said, ‘Just leave things alone. If you want to bring people in the country, bring them in in an orderly way.’ And then they said they didn’t do it. So on January 20th, they just opened the border up and invited people in. That’s not right.”
“The president of the United States ought to uphold the law, and he’s inviting violation of the law,” said Senator Grassley.
Senate Democrats are pursuing a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 8 million illegal aliens, or “undocumented immigrants,” as part of a $3.5 trillion budget resolution aimed at achieving many items on President Joe Biden’s agenda. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said they will act on the resolution before the extended August recess.
As part of the broad economic package, the Senate Judiciary Committee was charged with crafting a $120-billion bill for “making improvements on U.S. ports of entry, clearing out a backlog of visa applications, or other changes,” a Senate Democratic aide working closely on the plan told Bloomberg News. There was no mention of any funds going towards border security.
“Of the 8 million immigrants that Democrats want to aid in the economic package, 3 million would be young, undocumented immigrants known as ‘Dreamers,’ migrant workers, and some with ‘temporary protected status’ because dangerous conditions present risks, if they return to their home countries, the aide said,” according to Bloomberg News. “The other 5 million would be ‘essential workers’ who have yet to be defined.”
This immigration piece apparently is becoming increasingly crucial for the Senate Democrats to secure, as several House Democrats have said they will not support the larger economic package unless it is included.