HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — U.S. Sen Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is back from the Mexican border. He went there with a bipartisan group of senators who wanted to observe the immigration crisis for themselves.
“My hope is that this trip is the foundation for some really important discussions in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats,” Murphy said in a video made during the trip earlier this week.
Friday morning, he met with a group of immigration advocates and social service agency members for a roundtable discussion. He told them that he found the idea of immigrants sneaking across the border in the dark to be largely outdated.
“They are crossing the border, and they are waiting for border patrol to find them, and they are ready and willing to go through the legal process, the asylum process,” said Murphy.
So many asylum seekers are crowded in border towns because it takes so long to get asylum. Murphy hopes to start the process of changing that.
“I want a better asylum process that processes claims more quickly and efficiently, with more certainty,” Murphy said.
Groups in Connecticut want to welcome people here but say the resources are not there.
“And that’s everything from frontline workers providing case management and legal services to the federal government getting people processed and into the country,” said Susan Schnitzer, the president and CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.
Biden also went to the border earlier this week, promising more money and tighter border enforcement. Murphy also wants to see a path to citizenship for people already here.
“We owe it to those who are in our state who are Americans in every single way except the paper that they hold,” Murphy said.
Some of the other senators who joined Murphy on that trip to the border were among the senators who joined Murphy in creating some of the first meaningful gun reform legislation to pass through Congress in years. They are hoping some of that same cooperation can be applied to immigration.