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Senate Committee Rejects Stricter Border-Security Triggers


The Senate Judiciary Committee has rejected an amendment to the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to effectively secure the southern border for six months before granting legal status to illegal immigrants. 

Polling suggests that a significant majority of voters favor such an approach, and think that other elements of immigration reform, such as granting legal status to illegal immigrants, should only be considered after the border is secure. As written, the legislation merely requires that the DHS secretary submit a plan to secure the border before illegal immigrants become eligible for legal status. The amendment, offered by ranking member Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), would also require that heightened security measures be applied to all nine sectors of the southern border, as opposed to just three sectors identified as “high risk.”

Grassley’s amendments was defeated by a vote of 6 to 12. Senators Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) and Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.), the GOP committee members who are also part of the Gang of Eight, voted against it. 


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