Oklahoma Senator Shares More On Bi-Partisan Immigration Reform Bill

Sen. James Lankford joined News 9 to share more on his work towards a bi-partisan immigration reform bill.

Monday, January 29th 2024, 9:18 am

By: News 9


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For several months, Senator James Lankford has been working on a bi-partisan immigration reform bill that looked as if it might offer real reforms.

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Within the past week, Republican leaders started coming out against the deal.

Senator Lankford has pushed back, saying Republicans shouldn't wait and that the opportunity to act is now, which led to the Oklahoma Republican Party censuring him.

Lankford joined News 9 live in the studio to talk about border security and said everyone should be concerned about problems at the border, no matter what party you come from

"If I could put it in context, in the last five weeks, we've had more people illegally cross than during the Obama administration we had in one year," Lankford said.

Lankford said that for the last four months, he has been negotiating with Democrats in the Senate and the White House to pass a bill to help keep law enforcement in control of the border.

"We're now at the very edge of that bill being released. Hopefully, this week, that bill will come out and actually do all of those things," Lankford said. "It actually takes our border from the chaos that it is now to a secure border, and it radically transforms how we actually handle the process."

So far, Lankford has received pushback from Republican leaders such as Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, the Speaker of the House, and Oklahoma Republicans. He said many people have asked for a bill like this in the last three years, but now that he is about to pass it, they are backing out.

"To be very clear, I'm being accused of promoting amnesty and everything else. There's no amnesty in this bill at all," Lankford said. "The focus is, we have a responsibility constitutionally to be able to protect our nation, we have a responsibility to be able to protect our families."

There has been a rumor that his bill would allow for 5,000 border incursions a day, which Lankford denied.

"It's been very misinterpreted, misunderstood, or just twisted on purpose," Lankford said. "The focus of this is changing the asylum process, changing the way we do detention, turning people around faster, doubling the number of deportation flights so that people that qualify get in and people that don't, which is the vast majority of folks, they all get turned around."

Lankford said he feels it is his constitutional responsibility to find a solution for the border crisis, and he is willing to work with all parties to fix it.

"If we're gonna actually solve this, I've got to get both sides of the table, both sides having hard conversations, agreeing that this is a problem settling on the solutions," Lankford said.

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