05.14.13

Day Two Recap From The Markup Of The Immigration Reform Bill

From The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff
S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Day Two Recap: Bipartisan Progress on Immigration Reform Bill - #CIRmarkup

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday continued consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. 
The markup began at 10:00 a.m., and concluded at 5:10 p.m.
During Tuesday’s session a total of 38 amendments were considered by the Committee, including one substitute amendments and eight second- and third-degree amendments. 
Nearly half the amendments considered were offered by Republicans.
Of the 38 amendments considered, 24 were accepted, all but one with bipartisan support.
On Thursday, May 9, 35 amendments were considered by the Committee.
All amendments are available on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s website: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/

The Committee will continue its markup on Thursday, May 16, and will conclude consideration of Title IV.  The Committee is expected to consider amendments impacting visas for entrepreneurs and startups that create jobs in America.

Addressing Labor Needs

On Tuesday, the Committee completed consideration of the Pre-Title section of the bill and Title I (border security), and moved onto consideration of Title IV, dealing with nonimmigrant visas.  The Committee considered amendments to strengthen and improve the H-1B and STEM visa programs, which will help attract more high-skilled workers to American businesses and promote American innovation and entrepreneurship. The Committee rejected efforts to severely restrict legal immigration, which would impede employers’ ability to meet workforce needs.

During Tuesday’s session, the Committee also adopted amendments to close loopholes in the student visa program, while at the same time protecting the ability of foreign students to continue to study in the United States.  The Committee also adopted measures to better protect against fraud in the H-1B visa program by establishing employee reporting requirements.

Amendments Adopted Thursday

*NOTE: Summaries reflect purpose statements included in the proposed amendment.

Feinstein11 (as amended) – To modify the extent of the Southwest border region for purposes of border security – Adopted by Voice Vote

Coons2 (as amended) – To limit dangerous deportation practices – Adopted by Voice Vote

Schumer1 – To make technical amendments – Adopted by Voice Vote

Sessions4 – To require the use of a biometric entry and exit data system at ports of entry before the Secretary of Homeland Security may adjust the status of aliens who have been granted registered provisional immigrant status – Vote: 6-12 (Not Agreed To)

Lee1 – In the nature of a substitute – Withdrawn

Lee2 – In the nature of a substitute – Withdrawn

Lee3 – In the nature of a substitute – Withdrawn

Sessions1 – To provide for future immigration and limit the number of nonimmigrant aliens who may be authorized for employment in the United States – Vote: 1-17 (Not Agreed To)

Whitehouse6 (as amended) – To modify provisions related to complaints against H-1B employers – Adopted by Voice Vote

Grassley58 – To require additional information in Internet job postings for nonimmigrant employment in connection with the issuance of H-1B visas – Adopted by Voice Vote

Hatch9 (as amended) – To increase the labor certification fee required under section 212(a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and to use these fees to enhance the economic competitiveness of the United States by improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and training in the United States – Adopted by Voice Vote

Grassley67 – To require audits of additional audits of employers employing H-1B nonimmigrants and L nonimmigrants – Vote: 2-15-1

Cruz5 – To amend the provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act relating o the numerical limitations for H-1B nonimmigrants – Vote: 4-14 (Not Agree To)

Grassley60 – To provide that the good faith efforts to recruit in the United States apply to all employers in connection with the issuance of H-1B visas – Vote: 2-15-1 (Not Agreed To)

Grassley62 – To strike provisions relating to intending immigrants in connection with the issuance of H-1B visas – Vote: 2-15-1 (Not Agreed To)

Grassley56 – To strike the authority relating to interview waivers for low risk visa applicants – Vote: 9-9 (Not Agreed To)

Schumer3 – To make certain nationals of countries that benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act eligible for E nonimmigrant visas – Adopted by Voice Vote

Grassley70 – To delay the issuance of E–5 Visas to nationals of South Korea until South Korea has fully removed age-based import restrictions on beef from the United States – Not Agreed to by Voice Vote

Klobuchar 3 – To require a pilot program to conduct interviews for certain nonimmigrant visas using secure remote video conferencing technology – Adopted by Voice Vote

Sessions13 (as amended) - To require aliens who may be a threat to national security to submit to an in person interview with a consular officer when applying for a visa – Vote: 10-8 (Agreed To)

Blumenthal17 - To strengthen the whistleblower protections for H-2B nonimmigrants – Withdrawn

Hirono15 - To permit Medicaid coverage for citizens of the Freely Associated States – Adopted by Voice Vote

Grassley 69 (as amended) - To improve student and exchange visitor visa programs – Adopted by Voice Vote

Schumer4 (as amended) – To permit aliens with proficiency in certain foreign languages to qualify as J nonimmigrants – Agreed to by Voice Vote

Sessions6 – To prevent amendments to the visa waiver program from taking effect until the biometric entry and exit data system described in section 7208 of the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004 has been fully implemented and to strike the amendments to the waiver provision – Vote: 6-12 (Not Agreed To)

Klobuchar1 – To provide immigration status for certain battered spouses and children – Adopted by Voice Vote

Grassley77 – To require the Secretary to implement the transmission of data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System to databases used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Adopted by Voice Vote

Hirono2 - To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit nonimmigrant alien crewman to land temporarily in Hawaii – Adopted by Voice Vote

Grassley68 - To delay the effectiveness of the provisions on dual intent for F nonimmigrants seeking higher degree until the deployment of the 2nd generation Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. – Vote: 9-9 (Not Agreed To)

Markup to Continue on Thursday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m.

The Committee has concluded consideration of the Pre-Title and Title I, and has made significant progress on Title IV.  Chairman Patrick Leahy announced today that the Committee will continue its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act on Thursday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m.  The Committee will complete work on Title IV on Thursday, and will next turn to Title III, beginning with the E-Verify amendments.  The Committee is expected to continue the markup on Friday.

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