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 Post subject: Senate Rejects Amendments to Improve Security-S.744
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:08 pm 
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THIS ISSUE: Senate Committee defeats all amendments to substantially improve enforcement and the bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee is about a third of the way through its markup of the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill, S.744, and after three long markups and about 80 amendments considered, the bill remains Amnesty First, Enforcement Maybe Later. Read Roy's blog for more details.

On Thursday, there were multiple opportunities to make E-Verify more effective. Sen. Chuck Grassley introduced two amendments that would have: 1) required mandatory use of E-Verify by all employers within 18 months and 2) delayed the preemption clause allowing states that have passed mandatory E-Verify laws to continue enforcing them. Both amendments were rejected by the Committee.

During Tuesday's markup, most of the attention centered around an amendment offered by Sen. Jeff Sessions that would have reduced the number of green cards granted in the bill's first 10 years from about 33 million to 23 million -- still double the number of green cards issued over the last 10 years. Sen. Sessions was the only 'yes' vote; the other 17 Senators on the committee all voted 'no.' Read more about the Sessions' amendment in my blog.

The committee did accept a handful of amendments that were improvements but generally around the margins and of minor consequence compared with the whole bill. And the committee also rejected a few amendments that would have made the bill even worse.

Here's a list of the noteworthy amendments from the two markups this week:

Sessions #4 - Requires completion of biometric entry-exit system at all ports of entry -- defeated
Grassley #67 - Requires annual audits of at least 1% of all firms receiving H-1B or L visas --- defeated
Cruz #5 - Increases the number of annual H-1B visas from 110,000 to 325,000 -- defeated
Grassley #60 - Requires companies to make a good-faith effort to hire Americans before applying for H-1B visas -- defeated
Sessions #13 - Requires aliens who may be a threat to national security to have an in-person interview when applying for a visa -- passed
Grassley #69 - Strengthen requirements for Student Exchange Visitors Program -- passed
Sessions #6 - Prevent amendments to the visa waiver program from taking effect until biometric exit-entry system is completed -- defeated
Grassley #77 - Requires data from student and exchange visitor program transferred to Border Patrol -- passed
Franken #2 - Requires Inspector General to conduct annual audits of E-Verify rate -- passed
Grassley #31 -- Requires USCIS to create a weekly report of E-Verify nonconfirmations and send to ICE -- passed
Coons #1 - Require USCIS to contact individual when they're run through E-Verify -- passed
Grassley #38 - Allows parents/guardians to lock their children's Social Security numbers -- passed
Grassley #34 - Modify definition of identity theft to include making up a SS number -- defeated

The committee gets back to work on Monday and hopes to pass it before the Memorial week recess, so the full Senate can take it up in June.

SAT, MAY 18th

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