Congress has to deliver on immigration reform, two leaders of the House Freedom Caucus said Friday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
“We’ve got to do what we told the American people we were going to do and what the mandate of the 2016 election was all about,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a former chairman of the group of House conservatives, told the CPAC crowd.
“And that is border security law first, then [end] chain migration, stop the visa lottery, get rid of sanctuary cities, do all those things, and that’s got to get done,” Jordan said.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., current chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said he supports the immigration reform bill proposed by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
That bill, Jordan said, also prioritizes his own list of “border security, chain migration, sanctuary cities, [and the] visa lottery.”
Meadows called the immigration debate a “defining moment” for Congress and its leadership, which he said he meant “plurally” and not limited to the small leadership teams under House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“What we have to do is show real leadership, and if we cave, the American people will remember, you will remember, in November—and you know what, you should,” Meadows said.
“More work needs to be done. We have repealed the individual mandate in Obamacare,” Jordan said at one point, “but there’s more we’ve got to do to keep our word with the American people.”
The Ohio Republican said President Donald Trump supports sweeping immigration reforms, and lawmakers need to deliver on their promises to achieve such reforms.
“The president is there, so let’s just keep focusing on those things that we told [voters] we were going to do. They gave us the privilege to go and serve them; let’s get those things done,” Jordan said.
CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.