Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined all Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats to oppose an amendment securing America’s border with Mexico before legalizing America’s at least 11 million illegal immigrants.
During Thursday’s markup of the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) offered an amendment that would have required the entire border be secured before amnesty is granted to illegal immigrants, rather than simply requiring a plan be submitted to Congress with a promise of future enforcement as the bill currently does.
Right now, the bill only calls for border security at “high risk” sectors, not the whole border. Grassley’s amendment would have changed the bill to require border security at “all” sectors of the border instead of just “high risk” sectors. Grassley’s amendment also would have, according to the purpose of the amendment in its text, “prohibit[ed] the granting of registered provisional immigrant status until the Secretary has maintained effective control of the borders for 6 months.”
Flake and Graham, both members of the Gang of Eight who are sponsors of the bill, joined all the Democrats on the committee to kill this amendment. Two other Gang of Eight members, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), are also on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and voted with their fellow Democrats against the border security amendment.
A similar amendment from Grassley, one that just changed the language to call for security along the whole border rather than just “high risk” sectors, passed the committee. But that amendment still grants amnesty to America’s illegal immigrants before the border is ever actually secured.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), another Gang of Eight member who is not on the Senate Judiciary Committee, touted the passage of the second, weaker amendment in a press release that proclaimed, “Grassley Amendment to Secure Entire U.S.-Mexico Border Passes.”