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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Amnesty Program going through Senate

THIS JUST IN! from Federation for American Immigration Reform

Senate Judiciary Committee Resumes Consideration of Amnesty Guest Worker Legislation Wednesday morning the Senate Judiciary Committee resumed consideration of Chairman Arlen Specter's proposal to establish an unlimited guest worker amnesty program. This is a brief summary of the day's events. Further updates will be forthcoming to keep you as up-to-date as possible.

Committee Action this Morning

The procedure being employed for consideration of the Specter bill is to take up the proposal title-by-title, section-by-section until they have been through the 300-plus page bill. Today, the committee considered Titles I and II of the bill, which contain the border security and interior enforcement provisions.

FAIR Exclusive: Blow-by-blow of Today's Committee Markup

As often happens during these kinds of sessions, committee members came and went during the proceedings as other commitments required, often leaving the committee without a quorum (too few members present to allow votes on amendments). Often amendments were set aside for this reason with the expectation they will be voted on later.

Below is a list of the actions took place in the Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning:

  • Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) offered an amendment to increase the number of border patrol agents. The amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Brownback (R-KS) (for Sen. Sessions (R-AL)) offered an amendment to allow limited information sharing between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and DHS. The amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) offered an amendment to authorizing DHS to provide transportation and officers needed to take custody of illegal aliens caught by local law enforcement. The amendment was approved by voice vote.
  • Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) offered an amendment to authorize DHS to reimburse state and local law enforcement agencies for training and equipment needed to carry out cooperative law enforcement agreements under INA § 287(g) . The amendment passed by voice vote.
  • Sen. Durbin (D-IL) offered an amendment to strike provision criminalizing illegal immigration. After discussion and confusion as to the scope of the language, the amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Cornyn offered an amendment to make it easier for the State Department to deny visas to nationals from countries refusing to accept return of deported nationals. The amendment passed by voice vote.
  • Sen. Leahy (D-VT) offered an amendment to make discretionary rather than mandatory a requirement that the State Department coordinate with other countries on border security issues. After discussion and disagreement, the amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Brownback offered an amendment to reauthorize the J-1 visa program for foreign doctors. The amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Brownback amendment to remove nurses from the annual employment-based and country caps. The amendment was set aside.

Committee Action this Afternoon

This afternoon's session was late getting started, once again due to the failure of enough Senators to show up. Some of those who didn't show up are believed to be fearful of the votes they will be asked to cast, mostly because your calls are making a big difference.

Below is a list of actions that took place in the Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon:

  • Sen. Coburn (R-OK) offered an amendment to mandate use of expedited removal for illegal aliens (other than Mexicans) captured within 100 miles of the southern border and within 14 days of entry. After disagreement over the mandatory requirement for expedited removal, the amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Kyl offered an amendment to build fencing in urban areas in Arizona. The amendment was set aside.
  • Sen. Sessions offered an amendment to the Kyl amendment to construct approximately 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. After disagreeing over the effectiveness of building a fence or whether to first study the issue, the amendment was withdrawn for possible separate consideration later.
  • Sen. Cornyn offered an amendment to prevent convicted felons from sponsoring immigrants. The amendment was set aside.

Remember, the Committee is scheduled to continue mark-up of the the Specter proposal tomorrow (Thursday) and next Wednesday and Thursday before the Saint Patrick's Day recess. That means your calls can still have an effect on the outcome. If you haven't made calls to Committee members, please do so. If you have already made calls, consider doing so again. The members and contact information is listed below.

  • United States Capitol switchboard main number: (202) 224-3121 Senate Judiciary Committee:
  • Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) - 202-224-4254
  • Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) - 202-224-5251
  • Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) - 202-224-3744
  • Sen. Jon L. Kyl (R-AZ) - 202-224-4521
  • Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) - 202-224-2315
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) - 202-224-4124
  • Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC) - 202-224-5972
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) - 202-224-2934
  • Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) - 202-224-6521
  • Sen. Thomas A. Coburn (R-OK) - 202-224-5754
  • Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) - 202-224-4242
  • Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) - 202-224-4543
  • Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) - 202-224-5042
  • Sen. Herbert H. Kohl (D-WI) - 202-224-5653
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - 202-224-3841
  • Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) - 202-224-5323
  • Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) - 202-224-6542
  • Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) - 202-224-2152


Old Sgt said...

So basically what you are saying is that nothing was accomplished today. Which would be typical.

The_Bos'un said...

It depends on which side of the topic one finds oneself. For those who want the amnesty program, it was a mixed bag. For those who do not, it is another day that it has not passed. This is a very controversal issue that our country is faced with. Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has a lot at stake. We should visit their site and get aquainted with the issues at hand. You have time to call your senate representatives and press the issue with them.


Rosemary said...

I do call, but I live in California. Give me a break! lol. Fair is an org. that has run into problems before. Be careful. :)