(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is among the Democrats who are willing to admit that the border situation is a “crisis.”
He’s also urging Congress to pass legislation making it possible for people who came here illegally can work in this country.
“We have a crisis at the border,” Manchin told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “Everyone can see that. I think everyone realizes that something has to be done.”
Manchin said Title 42, the public health measure, “needs to be extended until we can get, really, truly immigration reform.
“Immigration reform will not happen in our country until we all come, both sides of the aisle, Democrats, Republicans, and the administration, that you have to have total border security. Security is the name of the game.”
“The president needs to use every bit of power he has as an executive to find a way or ask for an extension.
“The president can basically, I think, ask for that extension. I think his administration is doing that or will do that. I sure hope they do.
“But we need an extension until we can get a viable answer for this. Right now, this is unattainable. This is wrong. You can’t do this to the Southern border.”
Manchin said Congress could pass “emergency” legislation, if enough lawmakers agree that Title 42 must be extended. “I guess that could be done. We’re going back in Monday,” Manchin said.
“And I — it’s just — it’s a crisis. When you have a crisis. it seems like we can manage under a crisis in a bipartisan way. It’s a shame that we’ve come to this gridlock.”
Although Manchin agrees with most Republicans that Title 42 should be extended, he agrees with most Democrats that impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is not warranted:
“I think the gentleman is — is very competent,” Manchin said about Mayorkas. “He can do a good job. They just need to unleash him. Let him do his job. That’s what I have said before, and I will say it again now.”
Mayorkas has long insisted that the “border is secure,” despite evidence to the contrary.
In a Dec. 13 news release discussing the lifting of Title 42, he said: “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to pursuing every avenue within our authority to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stay true to our values as we build safe, orderly, and humane processes.” Mayorkas called for a legislative solution — also known as comprehensive immigration reform.
Manchin on Sunday agreed with Mayorkas and other Democrats on the urgency of immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for migrants:
“We have got to do, basically, immigration reform. My state of West Virginia needs more workers. We need people that want to come here for the right reason to provide for their family a better quality of life.
“My grandparents — great-grandparents brought my grandparents here in 1900 on both sides of the aisle from Italy and Czechoslovakia for that opportunity.
“I’m — I’m a product of that. And we have so many people that want to come to our country. There has to be a legal pathway forward. That’s all we’ve been talking about. The 2013 piece of legislation that we worked on and passed in a bipartisan way in the Senate never got a vote in the House.
“Use that as the building block. That was a piece of legislation that was responsible and reasonable. And it basically all centered around border security, but it gave a legal pathway forward to come into this country, work your way to legal citizenship. That’s what we need.”
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