During a floor speech Thursday afternoon, New York senator Chuck Schumer castigated his colleagues who plan to vote against the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill.
"In choosing this country, whether it's my friend Marco Rubio's parents from Cuba or my parents and great-grandparents who fled persecution from Europe, immigrants bring an appreciation for the choices and opportunities that are unique to America," Schumer said. "Immigrants have been an essential component to our American success story. To reject this basic truth in this vote today would be a direct rebuke to the lady who shines so brightly in New York's harbor."
Schumer said that the bill will secure the border, and he attributed opposition to anti-immigrant sentiment.
"If the bill passes, anyone who wants to try to cross the border illegally will have to over an 18-foot steel pedestrian fence," Schumer said.
"Now there are simply no more legitimate excuses to vote against this bill," Schumer added. "Here is what a vote against this bill says: It says it would be nice to reduce the debt, but not if it helps immigrants. It would be nice to grow the economy, but not if it helps immigrants. It says it would be nice to end illegal immigration and our security [sic], but not if it helps immigrants."
Schumer has served in the past as the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and his blistering floor speech might be a preview of what some Democratic 2014 campaign ads might look like.
Republicans seem ready to fight fire with fire. Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told The Hill that today's vote is “just another sign that even vulnerable [pro-amnesty] Democrats like Landrieu, Begich, Hagan and Pryor are more loyal to Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama than they are to middle-class men and women struggling in their home states.”