Colorado’s Morning News, Ken Buck, June 22, 2018

Station:    KOA, 850 am

Show:       Colorado’s Morning News

Guests:    Buck, Ken


Date:        June 22, 2018

Topics:     Pro

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CO-HOST MARTY LENZ: [00:00:03] The president said Dems are obstructionists, who are opposed to everything. Let’s get into it — all things immigration — with Colorado Republican Congressman Ken Buck. He joins us live this morning. Good morning, Congressman!


LENZ: [00:00:14] What about these two bills — maybe–. What was your vote, and what did you like or dislike about them?.

BUCK: [00:00:20] Well, the first bill, I voted for. It dealt with the DACA situation and it also addressed border security and interior enforcement — having mandatory E-verify — and then the labor programs — like the Ag guest worker program and others, that are necessary if you have mandatory E-verify. I thought [it] was a good compromise. The first bill was a compromise bill. It was negotiated throughout our conference. Then some folks decided to walk away from that, and we had a second compromise bill. They took the mandatory E-verify out. They gave the parents of the DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship. There were a number of other parts in the second bill. It has not hit the floor yet, and I’m not going to take a position on it, at this point. If it was the same bill as was going to be presented yesterday, I planned on voting against it.

CO-HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: [00:01:19] Hmmmm. What’s the biggest sticking point? And why do you think Republicans can’t get together on one of these bills, to get something done?

BUCK: [00:01:27] Yeah, it’s very frustrating. I really feel like we — the country wants us to address the DACA situation, not necessarily an immediate pathway to citizenship. What I hear from my constitutents is that they are looking for us to give a green card or a pathway to citizenship based on merit to the DACA recipients. So, if a young person is in the military, or they go to college, or, you know, are involved in a trade — something that this country needs — then we should open our doors to them. And so I was in favor of that. I really think that most of — or at least, close to half — of the illegal immigrants in this country came here legally and overstayed visas. If we don’t have interior enforcement, like E-verify, we just don’t solve the problem.

LENZ: [00:02:17] Did either of these bills include a wall for the president?

BUCK: [00:02:20] Yes, border security was included in actually both bills. There is a trigger for the border security. So, many of the parts of the second bill don’t happen until the border security timelines are met for the border security. And some of that includes a wall. Some of that includes other types of barriers.

ZESBAUGH: [00:02:43] It sounds like you think we should get this done now. The president, though, [is] saying, “Let’s not deal with immigration reform now. Let’s wait until the GOP bolsters its numbers in the midterms.” You would disagree with that?

BUCK: [00:02:54] I think it’s a problem we should have dealt with a decade ago, or two decades ago. This is absolutely ridiculous. We are not that far apart in the Republican Conference. The Democrats, — I agree with the president. They want to see this issue — for the most part — they want to see this issue continue through the election, because they think it is a good issue that divides Americans and will help energize their base. You know, we need to solve this problem because it helps our economy, and it’s the humane thing to do. We need to stop inviting people to this country who are going to live as second class people in this country. We’ve got to make sure that we do this in a humane way.

LENZ: [00:03:31] Congressman Buck, we only have a few moments left. Two things can be true. Maybe the Democrats are obstructing or delaying it because they want more. But the president himself with that language is saying we should wait. So, aren’t both sides of that wrong?

BUCK: [00:03:44] I think both sides are wrong. I think that we need to solve this problem. We should have solved this problem. It’s not — we’re not that far apart. And we need to push through.

ZESBAUGH: [00:03:53] Congressman Ken Buck from D.C., thanks for the time this morning.