A project of the Center for Community Change

CIR Update (II) – Round-up of last nights amendment votes

Thanks to Christopher Nugent on the DWN listserve for this update as of 10pm last night: 

Amendments agreed to:

Kennedy (#1333)

Alternative to Cornyn Amdt #1184, creates inadmissibility and deportability grounds for various categories of offenders, including gang members, sex offenders and drunk drivers, so they will not qualify for the legalization program.  Accomplishes the goal of ensuring that criminals will not be legalized without undermining the legalization program as the Cornyn amendment does.  Agreed to 66-32.

Cornyn #1250 (Mandatory Disclosure);  

Eviscerates key confidentiality provisions in the substitute bill. Under the substitute, legalization applicants would be assured a measure of confidentiality in their applications. The Cornyn amendment would strip the important confidentiality protections from the Substitute, thus rendering the legalization program ineffective by discouraging eligible undocumented immigrants from coming forward and taking advantage of the program. Agreed to 57-39.

Reid #1331 (EITC);

Side by side to Sessions Amdt 1234: Makes clear that nothing in the bill with change the prohibition on illegal aliens gaining access to the EITC. Agreed to 57-40.

Sessions #1234 (EITC);

Prohibits the EITC for undocumented individuals applying for Z visa status and Y visa holders until they become permanent resident. Agreed to 56-41.

Kyl #1460 (Family Backlog);

This is Republican side by side to Menendez backlog amdt. Under amdt, there is no significant decrease in the number of people who played by the rules, filed petitions, and will arbitrarily be excluded. Instead, it merely shifts who gets excluded from the backlog. Agreed to 51-45.

Amendments NOT Agreed to:

Cornyn (#1184)

Guts the legalization program by categorizing large numbers of non-criminal undocumented immigrants as criminals subject to deportation instead of legalization. Rejected 46-57

DeMint Amendment #1197

By tying participation in a health plan to access to legal status, this amendment effectively would limit the number of people who would qualify for legalization.  . Rejected 43-55.

Bingaman Amendment #1267

Removes the requirement that Y-1 nonimmigrant visa holders leave the U.S. before they are able to renew their visa. Current structure is costly and burdensome on employers, esp. small businesses, it is harmful to American workers, and provides additional incentive for guest workers to overstay the term of their visas. Rejected 41-57.

Budget Point of Order was raised against Menendez #1194 (Family Backlog);

Unfortunately, motion to waive the budget act with respect to Menendez amendment was not waived and failed 53-41 (we needed a 2/3 majority). Amendment fell.

 

Amendments Agreed to by UC:

Lieberman #1191 (Asylum Procedures)

Implements the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom regarding the treatment of asylum-seekers in the United States.  Our nation should be a beacon of hope for people fleeing persecution, and our policies toward asylum-seekers and other vulnerable groups should reflect that commitment.  The USCIRF recommended common-sense policies that would enhance asylum-seekers’ access to counsel and other legal rights.  This is modest but crucial measure is in line with American values. Agreed to by Voice Vote.

Thomas Amdt #1182

Establishes new units of Customs Patrol Officers (commonly known as “Shadow Wolves” during the 5-year period beginning on date of enactment. Units would operate on Indian reservation or borders with Canada and Mexico and investgate, prevent the entry of terrorists, other unlawful, instruments of terrorism, narcotics and other contraband. Agreed to by Voice Vote.

Schumer Amdt #1272

Improves security by providing for the establishment of B-1 visitor visa decision making guidelines and a tracking system.

Roll Call Votes Left Tonight (10pm)

Clinton-Hagel-Menendez #1183, as further modified;

Budget Point of Order was raised against this one. Reclassifies the spouses and minor children of LPRs as ‘immediate relatives’ thus exempting them from visa caps. The provision builds off of Senator Clintons V Visa amendment from last year, which offered a temporary solution to this same problem.

Ensign #1374;

It ups the weight placed on education and skills but eliminates the family credits AND the supplemental points for Z visas schedule, including the points for agricultural workers!  It keeps homeownership (sole) and medical insurance categories that were previously in the supplemental schedule for Z visas.

Salazar/Domenici #1384;

Bipartisan Side by side to Inhofe English Amdt: Reaffirms that English is the common language of our country, but does not undermine important existing law that is critical to our nation’s safety, health care, education, and other services. It also ensures we are promoting law enforcement activities that protect our communities and keeps them safe.

Inhofe #1151;

Declares English as the national langauge of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.   Amendment directly conflicts with several provisions of federal law that guarantee the right of non-English speaking students to learn English in our public schools.

Hutchison #1415;

Prohibit obtaining social security benefits based on earnings obtained during any period without work authorization.

Vitter #1339;

Requires that the U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system first required by Congress in 1996 that is already well past its already postponed 2005 implementation due date – be finished as part of the enforcement trigger.

Obama #1202, as modified;

Sunsets new point system in the immigration bill in five years. Modified to ensure thatallocation of visas for backlog reduction purposes was not rewritten and to ensure that there were the same number of visas left for backlog reduction.

Dorgan #1316.

Sunsets the Y-1 nonimmigrant visa program after a 5 year period. Differs from Amdt 1181 by clarifying that the H-2a visa program would not be sunsetted by the amendment. Only sunsets the Y-1 guest worker visa program.

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