The Norman Transcript

July 3, 2013

Immigration, budget cuts top concerns at forum

By Sean Murphy
The Associated Press

DEL CITY — A sweeping immigration bill approved in the U.S. Senate last week doesn’t go far enough to address border security and internal checks on immigration status and won’t get a hearing in the House, U.S. Rep. James Lankford said.

The second-term Republican congressman from Edmond fielded numerous questions about immigration reform and looming furloughs for federal workers from a crowd of about 120 people at a town hall-style forum at the Del City Community Center.

“The Senate bill is the Senate bill. It is not the House bill. It will not come up for a vote in the House,” Lankford said. “We are working on our own proposals to deal with immigration.”

While Lankford said the issue of immigration is a politically difficult one, with a wide range of views among those in the Republican caucus, he said action is needed.

“This has to be resolved. This is untenable at this point,” he said.

Lankford noted that much of the immigration problem stems from those who came to the U.S. and overstayed temporary visas and that any reform should include an “exit strategy” for immigrants who fall into that category.