On the program “Face the Nation” in January, Tim Kaine was a guest

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Transcript of an interview with Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia on “Face the Nation” on January 28, 2024.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Today on “Face the Nation,” we speak with Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia about the latest developments in the Senate’s national security bill. Senator Kaine, thank you for joining us from Richmond, Virginia. Can you share your thoughts on the White House’s deal with the Senate and whether you will support it?

SENATOR TIM KAINE: Thank you for having me, Margaret. I want to commend Senators Jim Lankford, Chris Murphy, and Kyrsten Sinema for their hard work on this bill. Immigration reform has not been addressed since 1986, so it’s important that we come together in a bipartisan manner to find a solution. While I still need to review the details, I appreciate the effort put into this deal. We have a pressing challenge and the only way to address it is through bipartisan cooperation. Senator Lankford has expressed his disappointment with President Biden, but we can’t dwell on the past. We need to focus on finding a solution now. One aspect of this bill that I am pleased about is its potential to help combat the fentanyl crisis. In 2012, 50 Virginians died from fentanyl overdose, and in 2022, that number rose to 2000. We know that fentanyl is coming into the country through the southern border, primarily through ports of entry. This bill will help us address that issue. So when President Trump says to vote no and wait for a year or two, we can’t afford to wait. People are suffering now, and this bill will provide much-needed relief.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However, the bill does not include any provisions for dreamers, which has been a longstanding Democratic request. Additionally, during the Trump administration, you emphasized the importance of asylum as a core American value. Are you comfortable with the Biden administration’s plans to restrict asylum?

SEN. KAINE: This is a difficult compromise. While I wish it was a comprehensive immigration reform bill instead of just a border security bill, the fentanyl crisis is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. There are some aspects of the bill that I am interested in learning more about, such as the potential for continued processing at ports of entry. This will help create order instead of chaos. There are many details that still need to be examined, but I do see some positives, such as potential improvements to work visas and provisions for children who arrive at the border without knowing the language. Overall, I wish this was a more comprehensive bill, but I believe there are some positive aspects that can help address our current challenges.  

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