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Arizona congressman stands firm on border wall before DACA deal


PHOENIX — The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate said it was close to agreement on immigration issues that included the futures of thousands of young people in the country, but one Arizona congressman still objects on principle.

“We’re getting the cart before the horse,” U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said Thursday on KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “We need to build the wall first.”

Biggs has said repeatedly that immigration reform should only be addressed after border security has been tackled.

The House plan from Washington would give undocumented young immigrants living in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program a path to green-card status, not citizenship. Recipients would have to renew their standing every three years.

Without citizenship, immigrants are ineligible to serve on juries or vote but they would have, “basically all the other type of benefits for living in the United States,” Biggs said.

The problem for Biggs remained the border wall.

“My position is quite simple. We’ve been promised so many things before. … A wall was promised about 15 years ago. They funded it and then it never got built because the very next year they withdrew funding.”

President George Bush authorized the Secure Fencing Act of 2006 but the next year the Senate voted down funding.

“I’m a lot more pliable after you’ve kept your side of the bargain,” Biggs said.

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