Tennessee Republican Rep. Mark Green said a bipartisan immigration deal would be “a huge win,” adding he thinks “it’s time.”
“I think everybody knows it’s a crisis so we have to do something about the border. We have to do something about immigration and if we can put it all together that would be a huge win,” Green, who serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, said on “America’s Newsroom” Friday.
“I think the Democrats haven’t had a win in this cycle. The president is leading. He’s made changes on taxes, regulations. He called it a crisis when it was a crisis, when it began. Now [Obama’s Former Homeland Security Secretary] Jeh Johnson is out saying it’s a crisis, so the Democrats are wanting perhaps to do something and Leader McConnell knows what’s going on in the Senate, he’s got a read on that so he’s going to take advantage of it and I think it’s time.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for bipartisan talks aimed at strengthening asylum laws and addressing border security, issuing a bid for negotiations amid a surge of migrants overwhelming the southern border and President Donald Trump’s continued calls to clamp down on immigration.
“What we need to do is sit down in a serious, adult, bipartisan basis and try to fix the problem, because the problem is pretty obvious,” McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday. “Border security is a part of it, but that doesn’t solve the asylum issue, and that can’t be solved, I don’t think, without some kind of statutory adjustment.”
McConnell’s comments came just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she was looking to tackle the issue.
“It’s complicated, but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” said Pelosi Thursday.
She added, “I’m not giving up on the president on this… I’m always optimistic and this has to happen. It’s inevitable.”
“That’s clearly a softening for Speaker Pelosi and maybe that’s an olive branch. I certainly hope that we can interpret it as that,” said Green in response to Pelosi’s statements. “Again, Leader McConnell came across and said, ‘Hey there’s something we can do, we can get something done here on immigration. That certainly should create hope for all of us.”
Green added: “Hopefully we can get an agreement on this and it’s sort of like playing poker right now. Nobody’s showing their cards. It’s not time. But at some point we’re all going to get in here, we’re going to negotiate, we’re going to find some common ground and hopefully get something done on immigration.”
When asked if Green would be willing to work with Pelosi on immigration he responded: “I think we’ve got to fix immigration. Clearly there are things that we’re not going to give up on. They’ve got things they’re not going to give up on. If we can find that sort of middle ground on some issues we can get some of this fixed and I certainly am willing to talk about that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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