WASHINGTON, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As expected, the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its mark-up of the Gang of Eight immigration bill, S.744, with few, if any, substantive changes that offer protection to American workers and taxpayers, or even safeguard our national security, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The Committee approved the bill by a 13-5 vote and sent it to the floor of the Senate.
The bill is the product of months of secret negotiations among eight senators and interest group lobbyists, with no input from other members. Despite pledges by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that committee members would have an opportunity to amend the bill, the mark-up process made it evident that amendments that upset the delicate political balance struck by the Gang of Eight would be rejected.
"The American people want immigration reform that limits immigration to the United States, ensures that our borders are secured and that our immigration laws are enforced," noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Instead, the bill that passed out of the Judiciary Committee offers amnesty to some 12 million people who broke our laws, doubles the influx of new immigrants, and dramatically increases the admission of guest workers.
"Rather than strengthening our immigration enforcement capabilities, S.744 rolls back enforcement provisions enacted by Congress and grants the Executive Branch alarming discretion to outright ignore immigration laws," continued Stein.
Among the amendments the Judiciary Committee rejected:
- Measurable enforcement triggers before amnesty can begin.
- Implementation of a biometric entry/exit system at all ports of entry, as required by current law.
- Eliminating the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive restrictions on amnesty for gang members.
- Limiting the annual number of green cards issued to 1.2 million.
- Requiring illegal aliens applying for Registered Provisional Immigrant status to pay all taxes owed.
"The bill now headed to the Senate floor is not immigration reform. It is about satisfying the demands of political interests for amnesty for illegal aliens and vastly increasing the flow of foreign labor to the United States," Stein said. "The American people get nothing out of this bill except more competition for scarce jobs, greater tax burdens, and worthless promises that our immigration laws will be enforced in the future.
"The real fight will come when this bill is taken up by the full Senate," Stein predicted. "As the American public discovers that this bill is nothing but a wholesale sell-out of their economic, security and social interests, pressure will grow on members to oppose this disastrous legislation."