The Senate will vote shortly on whether to end debate on the Corker-Hoeven amendment, which is actually a revised version of the full 1,200-page immigration-reform bill. Proponents argue that the bill now includes some of the toughest border-security measures in the history of borders: 20,000 new border patrol agents, 700 miles of new fencing, and billions of dollars worth of surveillance drones and infrared sensores. (Of course, they said the same thing before those new measures were added.)
However, the unions representing nearly 20,000 immigration law-enforcement officers continue to have serious problems with the bill, and its interior enforcement provisions in particular.
Chris Crane, president of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council, and Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Council, issued strongly critical statements on Monday, urging Senators to reject the amended legislation.
“The 1,200 page substitute bill before the Senate will provide instant legalization and a path to citizenship to gang members and other dangerous criminal aliens, and handcuff ICE officers from enforcing immigration laws in the future,” Crane said. ”It provides no means of effectively enforcing visa overstays which account for almost half of the nation’s illegal immigration crisis.”
Crane singled out Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) for having “directly misled law enforcement officers” by refusing to amend “provisions that he himself admitted to us in private were detrimental, flawed and must be changed.”
Crane criticized “legislation written behind closed doors by handpicked special interest groups which put their political agendas and financial gains before sound and effective law and the welfare and safety of the American public.” He added, “Instead of empowering ICE agents to enforce the law, this legislation empowers political appointees to further violate the law and unilaterally stop enforcement.”
Palinkas said that, if passed, the revised bill ”will exacerbate USCIS concerns about threats to national security and public safety.”
“The Corker-Hoeven substitute proposal, like the original proposal, will lead to the rubber stamping of millions of applications for both amnesty and future admissions,” he said. ”This bill rewards immigrants who break the law, more so than the prior bill proposed by the Gang of Eight.”
The legislation ”was deliberately designed to undermine the integrity of our lawful immigration system,” Palinkas said.