Senator Carper Urges Colleagues to Pass the Bipartisan Border Act from the Floor of the U.S. Senate

Today from the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Carper (D-Del.) urged his colleagues to pass the Bipartisan Border Act. In his speech, he called on his colleagues across the aisle to support the tough but fair bipartisan compromise and advance this critical legislation. Senator Carper further emphasized the need for the U.S. Senate to overcome partisan politics and address the longstanding challenges posed by America’s broken immigration system.

Read Senator Carper’s remarks as prepared below and watch the full floor speech here.

For years, many of our colleagues have said on the Senate floor, in Committee hearing rooms, and on cable news that there is a crisis at our Southern border. And they’re right!

Well, today, we actually have the opportunity to do something about it.

Once again, we have bipartisan legislation before us that works to address the challenges of a broken and decades-old immigration system.

Along with our other colleagues here this afternoon, I rise to urge all members of the Senate to put politics aside, do what I think we all believe to be the right thing, and vote in favor of the Bipartisan Border Act.

M. President, as a former Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I know that we have tried to come together in Congress to fix our immigration system for as long as I can remember – under Presidents and Congressional leadership of both parties.

My colleagues have often times heard me say that bipartisan solutions are lasting solutions, and in the case of fixing our nation’s immigration laws, that has never been more true.

Thanks to the tireless work of a Democrat from Connecticut, a Republican from Oklahoma, and an Independent from Arizona, along with members of their staffs, we have reached a bipartisan compromise on one of the toughest issues our country faces today.

I’m proud to say that—after four long months of negotiations between our three colleagues and members of the Biden Administration, including the Secretary of Homeland Security—we have crafted the strongest border security bill in decades.

The legislation produced during these negotiations proves that bipartisanship is not just aspirational, but actually possible.

Yet despite all of this hard work and the countless hours our colleagues invested in hammering out this critical piece of legislation, many of our Republican colleagues rejected this same bill earlier this year at the behest of Donald Trump.

I’d like to quote what Donald Trump said on his social media account earlier this year:

“Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solve this decades-old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”

While Democrats, Republicans, and Independents negotiated in good faith, it was Donald Trump who decided he’d rather attempt to sow chaos at the border rather than fix it.

It was also incredibly disappointing to see so many of our Republican colleagues turn their backs on this bipartisan approach and play politics with our immigration policy.

They chose to put Donald Trump first, over what is best for our country. 

Fixing the crisis at our Southern border requires tough policy choices, but it also gives us the opportunity to seek wisdom from Scripture.

I believe we need to look no further than the New Testament’s Matthew 25 where we find these words: When I was a stranger in your land, did you welcome me?

Many migrants seeking refuge often leave their home countries and traverse horrible conditions to seek a better life in this country, a life of freedom and opportunity.

We know all too well the factors that have contributed to the challenges at our border. Among them are a global pandemic, increased violence and criminal activity, the smuggling of illicit narcotics and our nation’s own devastating addiction to illegal drugs, not to mention authoritarian government rule, and poverty throughout the southern hemisphere. Those are just some of the root causes.

If we are serious about addressing the challenges of our immigration system, it’s imperative that we focus on these root causes of migration.

The Bipartisan Border Act before us would finally work to make our country safer by increasing resources and implementing policy changes both at the border and to our immigration system as a whole.

And this legislation has numerous endorsements from stakeholders, including the Border Patrol Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Today, we now have another opportunity to choose policy over politics.

Everyone on the Senate floor today knows that improving the security of our border is not just good policy, it’s the right thing to do.

In fact, 84 percent of all voters believe that we should be prioritizing reforms to our immigration system, rather than sticking to the status quo.

As U.S. Senators, we are elected to serve the American people, and we have an opportunity to meet that responsibility by enacting the legislation that is before us.

Our three colleagues have proven that working together is possible. Now, it’s up to the rest of us to do the right thing. 

Let’s finish the job. Let’s implement a lasting solution. And let’s do it together.