• Immigration bill gains more support

    The immigration reform effort has been gaining  support from Republican Senators — and from a couple of wavering Democrats – over the weekend, following a beefing-up of the bill’s security provisions by an amendment authored by Senators bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and John Hoeven (R-North Dakota).

  • DHS no longer conducts regular background checks of immigration applicants

    DHS is no longer conducting ordinary background checks because of the increase in the volume of amnesty applications which followed President Obama’s executive order, which took effect on 15 August last year. Skeptical lawmakers may wonder whether DHS can handle the millions of applications which will follow the immigration bill if it is passed, if the department cannot handle the hundreds of thousands which followed the executive order. 

  • Questions raised about “border security surge”

    This week the Senate will decide whether to approve the immigration legislation drafted by a bi-partisan group of senators. A border provision in the bill calls for adding $30 billion for additional security measures along the southern border, including hiring 20,000 more border security agents. Not everyone is convinced the boost in funding will lead to significant decline in illegal border crossers.

  • Border security provision deal makes immigration bill more acceptable to skeptical lawmakers

    Senators working on the immigration overhaul bill have reached a tentative deal on a border security amendment to the bill, a deal which likely would persuade more Republican lawmakers to support the measure. One of the authors of the amendment, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), said he hoped it would persuade not only more Senate Republicans to support the bill, but many House Republicans as well. “For people who are concerned about border security, once they see what is in this bill [after his amendment is adopted], it is almost overkill,” he said.

  • Senate immigration bill would reduce deficits by $200 billion over decade: CBO

    A long-awaited report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office offered a major victory for the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators and the draft immigration overhaul they drafted: the detailed report finds that the immigration bill now being debated in the Senate would reduce federal deficits by nearly $200 billion over the next decade even with higher spending on border security and government benefits. The report estimates that over the following decade — from 2024 to 2033 — the deficit reduction would be even greater, reaching an estimated $700 billion.

  • 7-Eleven stores used stolen social security numbers to pay illegal immigrants

    Federal authorities shut down fourteen 7-Eleven stores in New York and Virginia on Monday, charging nine owners with hiring and harboring illegal immigrants and paying them with social security numbers of other citizens. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and federal prosecutors say forty additional 7-Eleven’s are still under investigation.

  • DHS ordered to release names of immigrant criminals allowed to stay in U.S.

    A federal judge has ordered DHS to release the names of thousands of criminal immigrants who were allowed to stay in the United States because their home countries refused to take them back. Two years ago, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a list of more than 6,800 criminals, including 201 who were convicted of murder and other serious offenses, but the agency refused to provide names, saying that doing so would be a violation of the immigrants’ privacy. A judge ruled that the public interest in knowing how ICE handles aliens convicted of crimes is more important than the privacy concerns of the immigrants. The list of released criminal aliens now contains more than 8,500 names.

  • Immigration bill includes benefits to some industries

    The immigration reform bill currently being debated on Capitol Hill, in addition to giving immigrants a pathway to citizenship, strengthening border security, and requiring better enforcement of laws which aim to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers, also includes benefits for specific industries and groups.

  • GOP lawmakers want stronger border security provisions in immigration bill

    A border security amendment to the immigration reform bill, offered by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was defeated by a 57-43 vote last Thursday. Republican senators who supported Grassley’s amendment said they were concerned about a repeat of the 1986 scenario: the Reagan administration pushed through Congress an amnesty for illegal immigrants then residing in the United States, but without bolstering security along the U.S.-Mexico border, prompting millions of illegal immigrants to cross the border in the following decades. Several GOP lawmakers are offering their own border security amendments to the immigration overhaul bill.

  • Defense companies turn their attention to border security

    The U.S. involvement in the Iraq war is over, and the country will soon withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Federal budgets cuts shrink agencies’ ability to conduct research and development. Faced with these realities, military contractors have begun to focus on border security. What many defense companies find especially appealing is the fact that the Senate immigration bill conditions any move toward legalizing the status of more than eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States on the strengthening of security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Rubio will vote against immigration bill unless border security provisions are strengthened

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight group which drafted a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The bill has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and will come to the Senate floor next week. Rubio, however, says he would vote against the bill he helped draft unless the border security provisions in the bill are strengthened.

  • Sen. Rubio proposes that Congress, not DHS, devise border security plan

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), a member of the bipartisan group which drafted the immigration bill which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and which will be brought to the floor of the Senate next week, is working on a proposal which will dramatically change the approach to devising and assessing border security in the bill. The bill now has DHS entrusted with the responsibility of devising a border security plan and determining whether the plan has been adequately implemented. Rubio proposes that Congress would assume these responsibilities, saying that the current plan for borer security is not robust enough to convince many Republican lawmakers to support the immigration bill.

  • Critics: Gang of Eight bill will create new surge of illegal immigration

    The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a nonprofit organization critical of U.S. policies toward both legal and illegal immigration, says the Gang of Eight bipartisan immigration reform bill will not solve the U.S. illegal immigration problem, but rather exacerbate it. FAIR notes that in 1986, the Reagan administration pushed a bill through Congress which gave amnesty to nearly three million illegal aliens — but the problem of illegal immigration has only grown worse.

  • Reid confident immigration reform bill will pass the Senate

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said passage of the immigration bill will be relatively easy, and that he believes the bill will be supported by at least eight Republican, in addition to votes from nearly all Democratic members.

  • DHS cannot locate 266 “illegal overstays of concern”

    According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, and 21 May 2013 Hill testimony by Rebecca Gambler, director of the Homeland Security and Justice for GAO, DHS, since 2011, has identified 1,901 “illegal overstays of concern.” As of March 2013, 14 percent of them, or 266, are still missing.