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Arizona congressman says border wall must come before immigration reform

In this artistic rendering provided by the Fort Worth contracting company Penna Group shows a proposed to wall along the United States' southern border with Mexico. (Penna Group via AP)

LISTEN: Andy Biggs, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said Thursday that a border wall must be built between the United States and Mexico before any immigration reform takes place.

“Before any reform occurs to our immigration system, the wall must be built to keep our promise, restore trust, and secure our borders,” Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs said in a statement. “Nothing short of a physical wall will suffice.”

Biggs’ statement came hours after it was reported Democratic leaders and President Donald Trump had come to an agreement to protect young immigrants and enhance security along the border that did not include a wall.

Trump walked back those reports Thursday, saying “If we don’t have a wall, we’re doing nothing,” during a stop to assess the damage from Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Biggs said immigration was a huge topic for people who voted for the president.

“As soon he started talking about immigration issues, that’s when he really took off in the polls,” Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Biggs said he would rather see the president spend his time focusing on enforcing immigration laws, not coming up with an amnesty program.

“It would be a mistake to repeat the past, with mere promises of actions to be taken in the future,” he said in the statement.

The congressman closed his statement by reiterating his stance that the 60-vote Senate filibuster must be done away with, or else the administration may have to renege on some of its promises.

“We will not be able to uphold our promises, such as the wall, Obamacare repeal, and tax reform, without repealing this rule, and I implore Senate leaders to do what is right for the country,” he said in the statement.

“We should not preserve an extraneous Senate tradition in place of important, positive legislative policy that benefits Americans.”

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