Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) (Getty Images)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) — When asked whether illegal aliens should be given a pathway to citizenship, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) said that his priority is DACA, a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for children who came to the US illegally with their parents.

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should illegal aliens be given a pathway to citizenship?”

Senator Carper said, “Uh, I co-sponsored the DACA legislation, and people that came here with their parents — as you know, I think that’s, for me that’s the highest priority. And I’m open to a discussion on the rest. But right now the priority is DACA, to make them finish the job that we started.”

“The other thing, we need comprehensive immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform badly, and the piece that you raised can be part of that discussion,” he said.

In a follow-up question, CNS News asked, “And is our southwest border secure?”

“Everything I do I know I can do better,” said the senator. “Can we make the southwest border more secure? Yes, we can. But we can build a wall, you know, 50 feet high, and we can put even, like, twice or three times more Customs and Border Patrol agents on there, but if we don’t help countries like Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador address root causes for why people are leaving those places, who are risking their lives to get here, they’ll still be coming 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now.”

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Senator Carper further said, “It’s important that we do both, that we address our security needs at the border but we also clearly address the reasons why people are coming. Fear, crime, violence, lack of economic opportunity — that’s why people are coming. I’ve been down there to those countries many times. That’s what needs to be addressed. It’s not all on us. It’s like Home Depot, ‘You can do it, we can help.’ That’s the deal.”

Senate Democrats are pursuing a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 8 million illegal aliens, or “undocumented immigrants,” as part of a $3.5 trillion budget resolution aimed at achieving many items on President Joe Biden’s agenda. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said they will act on the resolution before the extended August recess.

As part of the broad economic package, the Senate Judiciary Committee was charged with crafting a $120-billion bill for “making improvements on U.S. ports of entry, clearing out a backlog of visa applications, or other changes,” a Senate Democratic aide working closely on the plan told Bloomberg News. There was no mention of any funds going towards border security.

“Of the 8 million immigrants that Democrats want to aid in the economic package, 3 million would be young, undocumented immigrants known as ‘Dreamers,’ migrant workers, and some with ‘temporary protected status’ because dangerous conditions present risks, if they return to their home countries, the aide said,” according to Bloomberg News. “The other 5 million would be ‘essential workers’ who have yet to be defined.”

This immigration piece apparently is becoming increasingly crucial for the Senate Democrats to secure, as several House Democrats have said they will not support the larger economic package unless it is included.