Omaha Public Radio News
2:53 am
Tue March 18, 2008

U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel discusses immigration, Iraq war during Creighton lecture

Omaha, NE – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel says securing America's borders won't solve illegal immigration problems. Hagel discussed illegal immigration, and several other issues, during a speech Monday night at Creighton University.

Senator Hagel says lawmakers need to consider the economic impact of taking the illegal immigrant community out of the United States, which he says would be devastating. However, Hagel says that's not a good enough reason to encourage illegal immigration. He says the promise of a better life is why many immigrants come here, and those people should be put on a path to legal citizenship.

The Nebraska Senator also discussed the Iraq war and the vote six years ago to authorize force in that country. Hagel voted in favor of a resolution authorizing force in Iraq, but he says he wouldn't do so today. Senator Hagel says he was told personally by President Bush and others that the U.S. was a long way from going to war when the resolution was introduced. Furthermore, Hagel says he had doubts and concerns then that continue today.

As for his future, Senator Hagel says he doesn't know what he'll do next when his Senate term ends. Hagel is not seeking another term in the U.S. Senate and he says he'll work as hard as he can during his last term to influence policy.