Judiciary Committee Resumes Consideration Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee resumed consideration Tuesday of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill to reform the Nation’s immigration laws.  A webcast of today’s executive business meeting, which is in Room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, can be viewed online.

More than 300 amendments were filed to the bipartisan immigration bill, a copy of which has been posted online for nearly one month.  Last week the Committee, under Chairman Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) leadership, considered 33 of those amendments, adopting 21 of those proposals from members of both parties.  On Tuesday, the Committee will begin consideration of amendments relevant to the nonimmigrant visa provisions in Title IV of the bill. 

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 Opening Statement Of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Judiciary Committee
May 14, 2013

I have said from our first hearing in February on comprehensive immigration reform that a key consideration for me was that the pathway to citizenship not be a false promise.  At our hearing with Secretary Napolitano last month, I was reassured by her answers that the requirements contained in the bill are fair and achievable.  Last Thursday, the Committee worked in a bipartisan way to resoundingly reject efforts to put up illusive preconditions that would be nothing more than obstacles to that reaching that goal. 

Last week, we met for hours and worked through scores of amendments.  Some termed our efforts “a lesson in democracy.”  Many noted that Senators “showed a commitment to fairness and compromise.”  

This morning, we continue our work and conclude consideration of amendments related to the border security title.  I hope we can do that quickly and then turn our attention to non-immigrant visa provisions in title IV.  These are very important components of comprehensive reform because they can spur American innovation.  I also want to see us improve and make permanent the EB-5 foreign investor program, which has done so much to encourage development and jobs. 

Companies like Intel, eBay, Yahoo, Google and many others have benefitted from immigrants and talented, foreign creators.   We need to do more to keep these companies and jobs for American workers in this country.  Talented contributors from abroad also boost demand for local goods and enrich our communities.

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