“If the amendment passes, it will have a strong border-security provision,” he said Thursday.
Heller said he was skeptical of the immigration bill but that the Corker-Hoeven compromise “brought me into this process.”
“So this border-first amendment . . . it’s something that I could support,” he said. “I’ve signed on to this amendment.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a Gang of Eight member, said that if Republicans didn’t like the provisions in the compromise, “then border security is not their problem” with the immigration bill.
Some Republican senators had a wait-and-see attitude Thursday. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., warned that “any agreement announced with great fanfare this afternoon . . . is not the end of it.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., repeated his belief Thursday that the Gang of Eight bill will grant amnesty to millions of immigrants who are now in the United States illegally and do little to prevent more people from entering the country illegally.
“Now Sen. Schumer says . . . ’We have a plan, don’t worry. We’re going to throw 20,000 agents at the border and you can quit complaining, you complainers, and just be happy and vote for our bill,’ ” Sessions said on the Senate floor. “We were told originally by the Gang of Eight we were going to have border security first, right? They finally acknowledged that wasn’t so.”
Groups who oppose the Senate immigration bill denounced the Corker-Hoeven compromise. Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA, called it “a desperate political move by pro-amnesty forces to provide cover to pass a bill that would otherwise not pass.”