PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — As the Republican-led Congress begins talk of shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration policies, one local Democratic senator said the majority will need minority votes to get it done.
As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was one of the so-called “gang of eight” bipartisan senators three years ago who came up with the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The bill ended up stalling in the House.
“I know that there’s going to be a border security bill, which is something that we had in our comprehensive reform,” Menendez said.
Menendez said he hopes any new border security bill will include other provisions, such as helping undocumented immigrants who are already in the country.
“Have them pass a criminal background check; ultimately pay their taxes,” he said.
Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said realistically, mass deportations cannot happen.
“To deport 11 million people would be the greatest deportation in the history of mankind,” he said.
Menendez said the country also has not been able to get average Americans to do the landscaping, crop pulling and hotel cleaning work that immigrants do.