You can listen to the interview and read the transcript HERE
In Case You Missed It, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined NPR’s Morning Edition to discuss her approach to immigration reform— including legislation she’s pushing to make commonsense fixes to our broken immigration system and a bipartisan path forward to strengthening border security.
By Steve Inskeep, March 17, 2023
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is one of very few Democrats to oppose the lifting of the pandemic-era immigration restriction, saying “I thought they were wrong.”
She’s among a handful of Democrats that opposed the Biden administration’s attempts to get rid of Title 42, which eventually failed in court.
“I am very open with the administration, and I thought they were wrong – told them that – to repeal 42 without a plan because I knew there would be a large surge at the border. And we have seen that. It was an ineffective proposal.”
Cortez Masto believes that both her Republican and Democrat colleagues in the Senate wish to see more money used to deal with an increase in migrant crossings at the border.
“We have to put funding into the border there, where we have more funding for immigration judges. We have more funding for that orderly process that needs to go through. We have to make sure we’re addressing the needs for inspection. We have to make sure that we have more ability to process some of the detainees. So there is a way to do it as long as we’re all focused together moving forward.”
Cortez Masto is warning the Biden administration not to put harsher immigration measures in place as a deterrent, after reports that the government is considering resuming Trump-era family detentions.
“It was wrong under Trump and it’s wrong now. There was a proposal for a transit ban, to me, again, wrong proposal. That’s a piecemeal solution to a broken immigration system.”
Cortez Masto has her own ideas on how to reform that system.
She reintroduced the Fairness for Immigrant Families Act this week, her long standing bill that aims to protect undocumented immigrants from fraud.
“I know too many families that literally were taken advantage of, which has implicated their ability to get on track for permanent residency.”
She’s talking about so-called notario fraud, where criminals use confusion over the Spanish translation of the word to pretend that they are immigration lawyers, rather than simply notaries.
The Senator hopes that enough of her Republican colleagues actually want to see reform that it could pass, rather than focusing on keeping immigrants out.
Saying that America’s asylum process “doesn’t work“, Cortez Masto believes that’s another area that could see bipartisan progress.
“I’ve heard that from my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, that we’ve got to fix the asylum process.”