Here’s the Memo Gang of Eight Opponents Are Sending Around the Senate

by Jonathan Strong

A Senate source passes along a document that is floating around the Senate Republican conference. It’s a dense, six-page list of the many problems opponents of the legislation have with the bill, authored by conservative Senate aides.

The memo goes into detail on some of the ways the bill actually undermines enforcement of immigration laws, even weakening enforcement compared with current law. Just to pick one example, the bill would “limit the authority of Border Patrol to return illegal border crossers during nighttime hours, when crossings generally occur,” the memo says. The actual bill text, under a section titled “limitations on dangerous deportation practices,” says the Border Patrol must certify it has only “deported or otherwise removed a migrant from the United States through an entry or exit point on the Southern border during daylight hours.”

Another point of interest is a list of a number of instances where groups of people or industries are afforded special treatment. According to the memo, the bill includes the following provisions:

  • Includes 20,000 visas for the meat packing industry (pg. 1839)
  • Includes 5,0000 special visas for displaced Tibetans over a three-year period. (pg. 1488-1490)
  • Increases funding for the Tucson U.S. Attorney’s office, the Tucson public defender’s office, and the Tucson U.S. Marshal’s office, without specifying similar increases in resources for other border states (pg. 901-903).
  • Provides 10,500 work visas solely to Irish immigrants (pg. 1738-1740).
  • Allows temporary admission for maintenance workers on cruise ships (pg. 1792-1793).
  • Allows ski instructors to temporarily enter the U.S. Using the same visas we give to visiting professional athletes and musicians (pg. 1786).