Rubio Flips Again, Helps Sink Biometric Visa Tracking Amendment
The Senate voted down an amendment to the upper chamber's immigration bill proposed by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) that would require a full biometric visa tracking system placed at every land, sea, and air port of entry in the United States before legalized immigrants could receive green cards.
The measure, which was also called for by the 9/11 Commission in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, would establish a biometric exit-entry system.
Gang of Eight member Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told Breitbart News last week that the tracking system was the "lynchpin to the whole bill." In May, he told various outlets he favored such a tracking system. On Tuesday, however, Rubio voted against the Visa tracking amendment.
Members of the "Gang of Eight" promised border security before legalization in the process of bringing their immigration bill to the Senate. However, an amendment proposed by Senator John Thune (R-SD) that would finally construct the 700 mile double-layer border fence as mandated by the 2006 Secure Fence Act was voted down as well with the help of the Republican members of the Gang of Eight.
Stephen Miller, spokesman for Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), wrote in a press release: "Despite promising enforcement first, the Gang of Eight led the opposition to Senator Thune’s amendment to finally build the never-constructed 700 mile double-layer border fence as mandated by the 2006 Secure Fence Act."
"Once again, a solemn promise of enforcement made by Congress – and passed into law – has not been fulfilled. Senate rejected the amendment 54-39, with 7 Senators not voting," the release read.
Senator Rubio attempted to explain his votes against the two amendments, claiming, “I support Senator Thune’s efforts to require completion of double layered border fencing. Properly deployed, these fences have proven highly effective in limiting illegal crossings." He explained, "That is why the current bill requires $1.5 billion be spent specifically on a border fence plan."
"However, his amendment does not detail a specific border plan," Rubio asserted. "Therefore, I opposed his amendment and instead continue to work with my Republican colleagues to arrive at a new measure that improves on the significant border security measures already in the bill.”
“I also support Senator Vitter’s goal of requiring the implementation of an entry-exit system to crack down on visa overstays, which accounts for 40 percent of today’s illegal immigrants," he stated. "The U.S. must have an effective tool to ensure that visitors who enter our country legally leave when they are supposed to."
"However, his amendment delays the process of submitting illegal immigrants to background checks and the imposition of fines for having violated our immigration laws," Rubio alleged. "Therefore, I opposed his amendment and will continue working with my Republican colleagues to improve the entry-exit system measures in the legislation.”