On a weekend break from Washington, D.C., Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS comprehensive immigration reform is vital to the state's economy and the right thing to do to help people immigrate to the U.S. legally.
"We need to get this (immigration reform) done and we need to get it right and the current bill in the House does not address comprehensive immigration reform," Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar said her heart goes out to the children who were separated from their families at the Mexico border after their parents were detained for allegedly trying to enter the country illegally.
"I think the president, and those who supported the separations know that it was wrong," Klobuchar said. "And, then the president signed the executive order stopping separations, but we now need to pass something in Congress to make it lasting policy and it needs to be comprehensive."
Klobuchar said she "could not support" the current House immigration bill, but thinks it is a step in the right direction.
"I know they were trying to do something with children who are already here, the Dreamers, and that is a good thing," Klobuchar said. "But we need a path to citizenship for all immigrants who are here legally already and we need to include refugees who are already in Minnesota like our large Liberian population, many of whom have been here, legally, for decades."
Klobuchar said if a good immigration reform bill does not happen soon, Minnesota's economy will take a hit.
"Our state's economy is so strong and we rely on legal immigrant employees to work at the turkey farms, out in the farm fields and other places like health care assistance and many other places where their hard work helps their families and helps our state, too," Klobuchar said.
Earlier in the week, House Republican Jason Lewis issued a statement calling for comprehensive immigration reform:
"We need to implement real immigration reform once and for all. Previous administrations have enforced the same policies, which is why it is disturbing that people are seeking to exploit this issue for partisan gain depending on who's in the White House."
Lewis' House GOP colleague, Erik Paulsen, also recently issued a statement on the immigration debate:
"Congress needs to act now. Unlike the President, I won't give up on giving DACA recipients certainty and ensuring we are never separating kids from their parents at the border again."