The tension and confusion over where lawmakers stand on the “border surge” amendment in Missouri reflect the uncertainty over the Senate Bill in Congress. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt took a strong stance against the amendment and despite watching his own security proposals defeated, remained firm in his position on immigration.
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk joined 15 other Republicans who aligned with Democrats in the 67-27 vote to advance the amendment. The “Border Surge” includes a $30 billion investment in securing the border as well as doubling the size of Border Patrol Agents. “A secure border and a path to citizenship are good for Illinois’ economy and good for Illinois jobs, and I look forward to supporting its final passage in the coming days,” Kirk said after the vote. Some wonder if Blunt should consider following suit. In response to his critics, Blunt responded Monday that his priorities remain with adequately securing the border and ensuring that the administration has measurable objectives.
Missouri GOP chairman, Ed Martin, agrees with Blunt’s views and opposes the latest bipartisan compromise in Washington. However, a recent poll sponsored by immigration reform advocates found that 72 percent of Missourians support legislation being considered in the Senate. Martin refuses to consider the “demographic death spiral” some fear is in the Republican Party’s future for fighting this legislation. Business leaders in St. Louis are also some of the most prominent supporters of the immigration law overhaul and hope the legislation passes to help boost economic activity.
While Blunt and Martin continue to fight the legislation they are being pressured to pass, constituents seem to have an opposing viewpoint. With the majority of Americans in general in support of the Senate Bill, lawmakers are beginning to change their stances. We may see a shift in the Missouri legislative delegation if constituents continue pressing for the final vote, but that appears unlikely which is unfortunate.
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