Senate Votes Down Border Security Amendment to Immigration Bill

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Immigration Bill

On Thursday, the US Senate rejected an amendment by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to the immigration reform bill that would have required that the border be secure before granting a pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants currently residing inside the country. The day before, the Senate voted to kill an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have forced Congress to vote on border security before granting a pathway to citizenship.

The Senate vote wasn’t close, and largely split along party lines, 54-43. The amendment was tabled. “My amendment is designed to turn border security rhetoric into reality,” said Cornyn before the vote to table his amendment. “More specifically it would have a trigger. The difference between my amendment and their bill is that their bill promises the sun and the moon when it comes to border security but it has no trigger mechanism.”

The current Senate bill does not require the Department of Homeland Security to have border control in place before the pathway to citizenship is initiated. It sets goals of 100 percent border monitoring, but the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it will stop a mere 25 percent of illegal immigrants. “My amendment realigns all of the incentives for people across the political spectrum to make sure that the federal government and bureaucracies keep their commitment,” Cornyn said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that Cornyn’s amendment was “unrealistic” and complained that it would thwart the pathway to citizenship for years. 



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