News release from Sen. Bob Corker:
WASHINGTON – In remarks on the Senate floor today, Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., commented on an amendment he co-authored with Senator John Hoeven, D-N.D., to bolster security on the nation’s southern border as part of the immigration bill now being considered by the Senate.
“Some people have described this [amendment] as a border surge…[W]e are investing resources and securing our border [in ways] that have never been [done] before: doubling the border patrol, $3.2 billion worth of the technology that we took from the chief of the border patrol, the technology that he needs to have 100 percent awareness and to secure our border, dealing with the [entry]/exit program, dealing with e-verify so that all of these things are in place,” Corker said on the Senate floor.
“I do think the American people have asked us if we pass an immigration bill off the Senate floor to do everything that we can to ensure that we have secured the border. That’s what people in Tennessee have asked for…I think that’s what this amendment does,” Corker added. “I want to thank all involved in crafting an amendment that I think tries to deal with the sensibilities on both sides and at the same time secure our border in such a way that we can put this issue mostly behind us and we can have an immigration system in our country that meets the needs of a growing economy – the biggest economy in the world – that focuses on making our country stronger, not weaker, and hopefully will put this debate behind us.”
The Hoeven-Corker Southern Border Security Amendment would double the number of agents on the Mexican border and require implementation of a tough new border security plan along the nearly 2,000 mile southern border before unlawful immigrants already in the country could be eligible for Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) or Green Card status 10 years after enactment. The border security plan is based on the U.S. Border Patrol’s assessment of what the agency would need to maximally secure the nation’s southern border.
The amendment also strengthens interior enforcement by requiring that officials enforce current immigration law and deter overstays by initiating removal proceedings for at least 90 percent of visa overstays.
Ten years after enactment, the senators’ measure requires all five of the following conditions to be met before LPR, or a Green Card status, could be granted:
• The Department of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Inspector General of the Department, and the Comptroller General of the United States (GAO), has submitted a Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy to Congress that includes minimum requirements for each sector along the border as identified by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the plan has been deployed and is operational.
• The Border Patrol has deployed, maintained, and stationed 20,000 border patrol agents on the southern border in addition to the 18,500 agents already stationed there. This means an agent every 1,000 feet along the southern border.
• An additional 350 miles of fencing has been completed (in addition to the 350 miles of fencing already on the ground).
• The mandatory employment verification system has been fully implemented for all employers.
• The mandated electronic entry/exit system has been fully implemented at all international air and sea ports of entry within the United States where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are currently deployed.
Video footage of Senator Corker’s floor remarks is available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/senatorcorker.