Sessions: Border Security Amendment Would Not Hire Agents Until 2017

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Immigration Bill

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) blasted the Senate's border security amendment to its immigration bill, touted as a breakthrough for the controversial legislation.  Sessions alleged that it does not hire any new border agents until years after its presumed passage.

Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) gave reassurances on Thursday that their amendment would enact tough border security provisions before any legalization of new immigrants could occur. Corker and Hoeven stated on Fox News Friday that their amendment would bring a “surge” to border security. The provisions of the amendment include 20,000 additional border patrol agents, 700 miles of fencing, and an E-Verify system for immigrant workers before new immigrants could receive green cards. 

Senator Sessions objected that the promises are trumped by "loopholes that are snuck into" the amended immigration bill. Sessions said the border security provisions are "designed" to be ineffective in a press release sent out Friday evening:

Already, in a short time, we have identified grave and deep flaws in the modified bill – both in terms of failure to live up to new promises made as well as some shocking changes that actually further weaken the underlying bill. The special interests who wrote these provisions know exactly what they do and designed them not to work – but I fear some of the Senators who sponsored this amendment have no idea they’re even there… These are undoubtedly only some of the new flaws that will be uncovered in the proposal.

According to the press release:

  • The Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment doesn’t change the bill’s amnesty first framework. Instead it goes even further and creates an automatic amnesty for future illegal aliens. Section 2302 says if you overstay your visa in the future you can still apply for a green card and become a citizen. It is permanent lawlessness. Joined with existing language that restricts future enforcement, it guarantees unending illegal immigration.
  • Contrary to their rhetoric there is no border surge. The Secretary [of Homeland Security] doesn’t even have to start hiring new border patrol agents until 2017, and the amendment only gives her until 2021 to increase the number by 20,000. According to the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents, this hiring process could take up to 20 years. Much like the 2006 law requiring a 700-mile border fence, it’s never going to happen.
  • To raise money, the amendment increases fees on visas for legal immigrants, but keeps the same low fees and fines for those applying for amnesty – favoring illegal over legal immigrants. Under the 2007 comprehensive immigration bill, amnesty applicants had to pay up to $8,000 – vastly more than the fines in the current plan which total only $2,000 and are subject to numerous waivers. The Gang has repeatedly claimed their bill is completely paid for by fees. However, under the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment, the American taxpayers are on the hook for $38 billion.

The amendment—created with the help of both Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), among other 'Gang of Eight' members—is expected to come to a vote Monday. Current supporters of the measure believe it will draw more Senators over to their side. However, Sessions' statement declares that lawmakers have only a few days to analyze the measure and its effectiveness.


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