May 10, 2013   Current Site Visitors -> web tracker

Border To Remain Open
Flake, Graham vote with Democrats
Washington Times -- May 9   
Senators kill amendments tied to bill on immigration; border security issue put on back burner
    The Senate immigration bill survived its first tests Thursday as a core group of Republicans and Democrats held together, killing efforts to require full border security requirements before legalizing illegal immigrants.
    Kicking off the first votes on immigration this year, the Judiciary Committee held a daylong session on border security where senators agreed to require that the entire southwestern border be secured to 90 percent "efficiency."
    But the committee defeated Republican efforts to put that requirement and others before legalization. Members also rejected following through on a 2006 law that ordered the government to build 700 miles of two-tier fencing on the 2,000-mile-long border.
    "I very much want to see the border shut down. I dislike illegal immigration," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat and one of those who led opposition. "But let's do it in a smart way. Let's do it in a way that's cost-effective. Let's do it in a way that doesn't blow a hole in our budget. And let the experts decide."
    The votes marked the first test for the coalition of Republicans and Democrats pushing immigration reform.
    Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who were among the Republicans on the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that wrote the bill, said they want tough border security. They voted repeatedly against other Republican amendments, arguing that they could upset the balance of the deal they struck with Democrats and saying the proposal sufficiently increases border enforcement. [...]
    "The committee has voted down every serious border security amendment that has been presented here today," said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. "The bill before this committee that relies entirely on subjective assessments from the secretary of Homeland Security that have no teeth."

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