Senator Todd Gardenhire said he is issuing a challenge to Congressmen Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper to support President Donald Trump’s recently released immigration plan that he said includes a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million individuals brought to the U.S. as a minor child by an illegal immigrant parent or parents.
“It’s time for those who constantly demand protections for children to actually vote the same way and support Trump’s immigration proposal,” said Senator Gardenhire, whose legislative tenure includes an effort for those identified as “Dreamers” to pay in-state tuition at Tennessee’s colleges and universities.
Preceding the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, the Trump Administration released a proposed framework based on previously cited tenets of a bipartisan comprehensive approach to deal with an array of issues involving immigration. Senator Gardenhire said, "Four key components of the legislative initiative include $25 billion in funding for a wall system that uses a physical barrier where geography warrants, surveillance and patrol measures, a reduction in chain migration involving family-based immigration that currently extends to distant relatives rather than just immediate family, an elimination of the VISA lottery program that has been recently tied to criminal and terror activity and, finally, a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million individuals identified as Dreamers."
He said, “A very few of us have been willing to address the reality that these kids brought here by their parents need to be productive, not wards of the state by allowing them to pay in-state tuition to encourage education, not entitlement. The calls for bipartisanship and solving problems rings pretty hollow from those who are given exactly what they want with this pathway to citizenship but still refuse to support a proposal."