Senate Bill Advances

June 24, 2013

Today the Senate voted 67 to 27 to clear the way for an amendment adding border security provisions to the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill.  Included in the provision is the authorization to hire 20,000 more border agents, to build 700 more miles of border fencing to increase surveillance, an employee verification system, and the establishment of an advanced entry and exit system.

Section 1116 allows agents the power to enter private land and and stop vehicles without a warrant at the northern border.

The amendment actually does more than boost border security. In fact, one provision calls for taking back any social security dollars that undocumented immigrants put into the system from 2004 to 2014.  In other words, if these people do gain legal status, they will not be given credit for the quarters that they worked if they cannot prove that they had a legal status during that period.

Today's procedural vote where the Senators voted to end debate to advance the border security amendment was considered a sign that the entire immigration bill will pass the Senate on Thursday or Friday this week. Read the amendment below:
I was told that the CNMI provision in the Senate bill is the same one that is in the draft of the House bill. I do not expect that the provision will be removed from either bill.

But will Speaker Boehner even bring a House immigration bill to the floor? He said he would not do so unless he was convinced the bill had enough votes to pass.

Hopefully, the House members will focus on getting an immigration bill passed in July. In August the Congress has another long break.