On CNN, Curbelo Calls on Administration to Work with Congress on Immigration Reform Instead of Repeating Mistake of Acting Alone

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Miami, Florida, February 21, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments
“Look, I think in recent years, the truth has gotten lost in a lot of our debates. The fact is the Obama Administration has deported more people than anyone in our history. The fact is we have a much more secure situation at the border than we did ten years ago. Now do we need to keep going? Do we need to do better? Absolutely. Do we need to solve this immigration puzzle once and for all? The American people are tired of this debate. It's literally been ten years since McCain-Kennedy. We need to act, and in order to accomplish this, no Administration, whether it's Obama or Trump can act alone. Congress has to be part of the solution.”
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This morning, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) joined CNN “New Day” from Miami to discuss the Administration’s new immigration order expected later this week.

Curbelo urged the Administration to work with the Congress on comprehensive immigration reform instead of repeating the Obama Administration’s mistake of acting alone. While calling for a better immigration system and improved border security, Curbelo also noted the Obama Administration’s historic deportations, the progress made at the border, and lamented the lack of honesty in public debate.

A partial transcript of the exchange is available below. A video is available here, and a broadcast quality video to download is available here.

U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo
CNN “New Day”
Miami, Florida
February 21, 2017
https://youtu.be/b_lwPKz89Vw?t=26s


Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Well, Chris, the first thing I will say is that this country just like any country has the right and responsibility to secure its border and enforce its immigration laws. Now, having said that, we need to do that in a smart and compassionate way.

“I'll tell this Administration the same thing I told the previous Administration: If we're going to solve the immigration puzzle in this country, something we've been debating for about ten years now, the Administration has to engage the Congress and the solution has to come out of the Congress, and the solution has to be complete. It cannot be enforcement only and it cannot be only having compassion with those who are undocumented and working in our country. We need to do it all – border security, visa reform and, yes, finding a way to legal status for those who are contributing in our country, who aren't violating our laws. And some of the good news from my perspective in this order is the continuation of DACA. We have many young, undocumented immigrants in our community, people who were brought to the country as children, and those protections for them will stay in place. That's something else that calls for a solution from the Congress.”

CNN’s Chris Cuomo: “In terms of the recent enforcement actions are you concerned that some of these principles that you want to make sure are part of our reform are not in place? That some families have been jeopardized and broken up by enforcement actions? Is that something you ooh going to speak out against?”

Curbelo: “Absolutely, and without question there's a tightening here from the policies of the previous Administration, but I remind everyone of the previous Administration removed more undocumented immigrants more than any other in the history of our country. Now, the way in which we do that has to be smart.

“These orders do focus from what I can tell on criminals, people who have committed crimes in our country. Of course, I think most Americans agree that those people should be moved. Now, people who are just here working, contributing, breaking up families, those are the kinds of things we don't want to see. They're not good for our country and obviously not good for those families.”

Cuomo: “It's interesting to hear a Republican state the fact that Obama's Administration had been very aggressive in deportations because often your party acts as if he let everybody stay, he didn't kick anybody out. So do you think you're going to get a lot of resistance from people when you speak out that way?”

Curbelo: “Look, I think in recent years, the truth has gotten lost in a lot of our debates. The fact is the Obama Administration has deported more people than anyone in our history. The fact is we have a much more secure situation at the border than we did ten years ago.

“Now do we need to keep going? Do we need to do better? Absolutely. Do we need to solve this immigration puzzle once and for all? The American people are tired of this debate. It's literally been ten years since McCain-Kennedy. We need to act, and in order to accomplish this, no Administration, whether it's Obama or Trump can act alone. Congress has to be part of the solution.”

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