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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

MAJOR IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT PROVISION COMING UP FOR VOTE TODAY IN SENATE

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Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), one of the Republican's chief architects of this summer's comprehensive immigration reform bill, will introduce an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill much of Title I and II of the CIR bill. Those sections cover border and interior enforcement. The measure is being opposed by immigration advocacy organizations like AILA.







According to a press release from Graham's office, the measure would do the following:

        Operational control over 100% of the U.S.-Mexico land border

        23,000 Border Patrol agents hired, trained, and reporting for duty

        4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & 105 ground-based radar and camera towers

        300 miles of vehicle barriers & 700 miles of border fencing

        A permanent end to the "catch-and-release" policy with 45,000 detention beds.

          
In addition, the Act contains additional border and interior enforcement provisions necessary for stemming the tide of illegal immigration, restricting immigration benefits to lawbreakers, and further protecting the homeland from terrorists and criminals.  Among other things, the Act does the following:

        Increased Personnel: Requires a total of 14,500 new Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) agents through Fiscal Year 2012 - to approximately 30,000 CBP agents overall - as well as increased hires of new Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

        Sanctuary Cities: Prohibits cities from banning the obtaining of information on immigration status by their own law enforcement agencies.

        Operation Jump Start/National Guard: Provides additional funding for Operation Jump Start to maintain a National Guard presence along the Southern border.

        Criminal Aliens: Strengthens laws to deny immigration benefits to aggravated felons, gang members, terrorists, sex offenders, and child abusers.  The bill also expands the Institutional Removal Program and gives DHS the ability to detain criminal aliens for an extended period of time before they can be removed.   

        State and Local Law Enforcement:  Gives state and local law enforcement new authorities to detain illegal aliens and transfer them into DHS custody.  Moreover, it allows state and local law enforcement authorities to use homeland security grants for 287(g) training and provides funding to cover the costs of detaining and transporting criminal aliens.

        Visa Overstayers: Requires DHS to detain aliens who willfully overstay their period of authorized admission for more than 60 days.

        Illegal Reentry: Increases criminal penalties and sets mandatory minimum prison sentences for aliens who have been removed and illegally re-enter our country.

        Expedited Removal:  Restricts the impact of outdated court injunctions that currently prevent DHS from certain illegal immigrants into expedited removal and returning them to their country of origin as soon as circumstances allow.

        US-VISIT and Entry Inspection: Clarifies DHS's authority to collect biometric entry and exit data at U.S. ports of entry, as well as requires the Department to provide Congress a timeline for implementing US-VISIT at all land border points of entry.

        Employment Eligibility Verification: Requires DHS to enhance the Basic Pilot Program to help facilitate broader use by employers as well as improved accuracy and efficiency.

        Liability Protection for Reporting Suspicious Threats: Grants civil liability protection to those who report possible threats to our nation's transportation system.

AILA is opposing the measure for a variety of reasons including the expansion of state and local enforcement of immigration laws, the subjecting visa overstayers to mandatory jailing and the penalization of cities that doe not choose to turn their police officers in to immigration agents.   



According to AILA, Senator Reid will offer a side-by-side amendment that would pair the Graham bill up with the AgJobs and DREAM Act bills that would help those who entered illegally as children as well as certain agricultural workers who are out of status.



I am urging readers to support the side-by-side amendment and encourage you to call your Senators to offer support. While the enforcement bill has problems, the odds of an enforcement bill passing are good and we can work to make positive changes before it gets to the President's desk. And AgJobs and the Dream Act would help an enormous number of people.

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Comments

  1. Carrie Smith's Avatar
    How about the SKILL bill? Why oh why does no one seem to care about the LEGAL immigrants???
  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    The idea of putting everything together showed it was a non-starter. So measures are being done separately or in small groups. SKIL is moving, but on a different path.
  3. In Immigration Limbo's Avatar
    Stink, still no schedule A!*(&^ @#%! *&^*(&!*)(%^$ &*@#&!!!!. Sorry, just needed to vent. Why didn't they tag Schedule A onto this one if it has a good chance of passing.

    You know, the feds have piled a heavy load onto health care workers by forcing them to care for illegals and the uninsured without remuneration. You'd think they could at least offer them some relief by giving some visas to schedule A. We need to work on Durbin and his ilk.
  4. Can't take this much longer ...'s Avatar
    "SKIL is moving, but on a different path." ... I don't see any news/update on this bill being added / considered by any senator...
  5. In Immigration Limbo's Avatar
    The "Visa Overstayers" part seems a bit onerous. Imagine someone on a temporary work visa in the U.S. loses their job. They may have houses, cars, etc., to dispose of, kids in school, and so on and so forth. The person may also wish to try to look for a new job. Having this 60 day countdown to jail time while you are in a mad rush will just make the stress unbearable in an already horrible situation. I know the intent of this, and it seems fine, but for goodness sake, be a little more forgiving on the time frame.
  6. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    Limbo, well, forgiveness is rarely on the agenda in this country lately. How about people who filed for adjustment of status and did not extend their non-immigrant visa and did not file for EAD (if someone is a homemaker, why would they pay exhorbiant fees)? This person overstays the I-94, and CIS provides NO PROOF of legal presence for those in adjustment of status. How long this person would have to stay in jail before this thing clears up?
  7. In Immigration Limbo's Avatar
    L&W,

    Wow, something we can almost agree on. Wouldn't an advance parole prove status for that person in your scenario though? I don't think the EAD is proof of status, but an AP is.
  8. 's Avatar
    I thought the Graham amendment was already defeated yesterday? AILA said it was rejected ... did they bring it up again?

    link: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=22966
  9. 's Avatar
    Ok never mind...
  10. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    Limbo,
    Neither AP or EAD is technically a proof of status (well, someone in AOS does not have status, anyway). But most DMVs and other local governments will gladly take EAD or AP as proof of being in the country legally. But the sam ething I said about EAD goes for AP - someone may not want to waste $545 to get one, and they should not have to. But how do you prove you are in AOS if your receipt notice is 3 years old, and you did not get any interim benefits?
  11. 's Avatar
    Ok, I think its back up again.
  12. Kris's Avatar
    Why is it that always the law breakers get their voices heard. Why are legal immigrants punished. Why are people so bent on pushing the DREAM act. One of the major beneficiaries are illegals and their children. Agreed there are others who benefit may be a different bill or ammendment might be introduced to address the people who are here legally and their children benefit from this. I am not definitely for DREAM act benefits to illegals.. and anybody how about some venting on SKIL bill>???? DOnt know if this message will make it through.. lets see

    kris
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