As a debate over immigration continues to shroud the government shutdown, at least one senator’s previous words on immigration are coming back to hurt him.
Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro spent a portion of her show over the weekend to highlight comments made by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2009 regarding illegal immigration.
“People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the U.S. legally,” he stated in 2009, speaking at an Immigration Law & Policy Conference hosted at Georgetown Law.
“First, illegal immigration is wrong, and a primary goal of comprehensive immigration reform must be to dramatically curtail future illegal immigration,” Schumer said in another portion of his 2009 speech.
Schumer was the lead Democrat on the 2013 “Gang of Eight” immigration bill — a bipartisan piece of legislation written by four Democrats and four Republicans which, in the end, did not become law.
Schumer was protested that year by immigration activists for having “extreme positions” on the issue. A spokesperson for the senator insisted that he was “working tirelessly to craft the best comprehensive bill that provides a path to citizenship, accelerates family reunification, establishes a coherent policy that ends illegal immigration and allows for future legal immigration.” However, Schumer stated in a press conference that Congress “will never put these people on a path to citizenship until we have secured the border.”
Despite his actions in the not-so-distant past, Schumer recently said that he “reluctantly” offered President Trump funding for the proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in exchange for protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While Schumer has previously called for more border-enforcement, he criticized the president for rejecting the latest offer.
“In exchange for strong DACA protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for discussion,” he said. “Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal.”