On June 11, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) warned that a Republican amendment to strengthen border security is actually a “poison pill” for the immigration reform bill.
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), “would require the government to meet border enforcement goals before granting full legal status for the nation’s estimated 11 million” illegal immigrants.
Cornyn’s amendment stipulates that legal status for these immigrants could not be granted “until the government [has] 100 percent awareness of border activity and [is] able to intercept at least 98 percent of illegal crossings.” It would also require “a biometric system for tracking all visa holders and [the establishment of] an E-verify employee check system as preconditions.”
Reid says these things are simply “unacceptable.”
But Cornyn says he has talked frequently with pro-immigration reform Senators like Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and he does not think they would be talking to him if they had the 60 votes necessary to pass their bill on the Senate floor.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says Cornyn’s amendment is a must: “It will put us in a position where we can look the American people in the face and say were are going to secure the border.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.