Headline on Lamar Alexander Press release today:
Alexander Votes to Secure Border, End de Facto Amnesty
Says immigration reform now goes to U.S. House of Representatives to “improve the legislation and finish the job”
Headline on Marsha Blackburn Press Release today:
Senate Amnesty Bill D.O.A. In House Of Representatives
Text of the releases is below, along with statements from Sen. Bob Corker and Reps. Scott DesJarlais and Diane Black on the Senate’s passage of the immigration bill.
News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander:
WASHINGTON, June 27 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of immigration reform, which included an amendment by Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to strengthen border security before any newly registered immigrant can apply for legal permanent residency:
“It is the constitutional responsibility of Congress and the president to fix our broken immigration system. Senator Corker’s amendment dramatically strengthens border security. The bill ends de facto amnesty and creates a system of legal immigration. Now it goes to the House of Representatives to improve the legislation and finish the job.”
As a result of Senator Corker’s amendment, which Alexander cosponsored, the legislation would add 20,000 border patrol agents. That would double the number of agents on the southwest U.S. border, which would be enough to station one agent every 1,000 feet. The legislation would also require the construction of 700 miles of new or upgraded fencing and spend $3.2 billion on new security technology that was proven in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The border patrol agents, fencing and security technology plan would have to be in place before an adult immigrant under the immigration legislation’s “Registered Provisional Immigrant” program would be allowed to apply for legal permanent residency, otherwise known as a green card.
The U.S. House of Representatives is still considering immigration reform, and the legislation the Senate passed today would require approval by the House and president before becoming law. The House could also opt to produce its own legislation, and Alexander said the House “should have as its goal to further strengthen border security, end de facto amnesty and create a system of legal immigration.”
News release from Rep. Marsha Blackburn:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement on the immigration bill that was approved by the United States Senate today.
“The Senate amnesty bill is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives,” Blackburn said. “One of the great lessons we learned from Obamacare is that passing comprehensive reform packages creates more problems than they solve. The Senate bill is the wrong approach for America.
“I think Tennesseans want us to take up smaller bills that go through regular order and are focused on specific problems within our current immigration system. That’s what we are currently doing in the House. I do not believe in amnesty and if we are going to make any changes to our system we must start by securing our borders. Any other reform effort is meaningless if we don’t start with strengthening our border security.”
News release from Sen. Bob Corker:
WASHINGTON–Today, the Senate passed S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, by a vote of 68-32, which includes the Hoeven-Corker border security amendment.
“This is the toughest border security measure to ever pass the Senate, and from economic, national security, deficit-reduction and moral standpoints, it’s the right thing to do,” said Corker. “Because of the amendment Senator Hoeven and I added to the bill, this legislation requires an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents and at least 700 miles of fencing along the southern border, full implementation and activation of $4.5 billion in surveillance technology, an electronic visa entry/exit system, and a mandated E-Verify system for all employers. Passage of this bill gets us one step closer to securing our border in a dramatic way and to solving the immigration problem that we have struggled with for decades.”
Yesterday, the Hoeven-Corker border security amendment passed overwhelmingly in a 69-29 vote. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “the amendment would reduce both illegal entry into the country and the number of people who stay in the country beyond the end of their authorized period [visa overstays].”
The amended legislation, according to CBO, would reduce the deficit by $157 billion in the next 10 years and by $690 billion during the second decade.
News release from Rep. Scott DesJarlais
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) released the following statement on the immigration bill that was approved by the United States Senate:
“The Senate immigration proposal is the ObamaCare of immigration: A broad, comprehensive bill fraught with unintended consequences and unexpected results. I will fight to make sure this bill never reaches the floor of the United States House of Representatives.
“Providing a pathway to citizenship before securing the border is putting the cart before the horse. Before overhauling our nation’s immigration system, we should first ensure we are enforcing the laws that are already on the books. The United States has always had a generous legal immigration policy, but we simply cannot grant amnesty to those who choose break the law.”
News release from Rep. Diane Black:
Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) released the following statement today denouncing the Senate passage of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act:
“The Senate’s amnesty bill is the wrong approach to addressing our illegal immigration crisis. I am confident my conservative colleagues and I can stop this bill from being brought to the House floor for a vote but if this bill is voted on, I will vote no. The first step to addressing the problem of illegal immigration is securing our borders. That is why I introduced H.R. 2220, The SMART Border Act of 2013. Instead of rewarding those who break the rules, President Obama and Congress need to do their job and enact real reforms like the SMART Border Act that restores order and commonsense to our immigration policy. There is no place for amnesty in immigration reform,” said Congressman Diane Black.