At 5:30 p.m. today, the Senate will vote to replace the current version of SB744 with the Corker-Hoeven Amendment. It is expected that this vote will pass and the Corker-Hoeven Amendment will become the NEW reform legislation. Please see below for a summary of the changes. Advocates are feeling very torn about this because it militarizes our border, while tying legalization to those changes and expenditures. There are questions about how this build up will be paid for and estimates put the cost at $30Billion.
This militarization of our borders is in opposition to GA policy. Further, GA policy calls for a full pathway to citizenship without "imposing punitive costs, wait times, or other irksome conditions."
Please call your Senators and urge them to oppose the Corker-Hoeven Amendment and to support a comprehensive immigration plan that provides a pathway to citizenship without militarizing our border or making the pathway to citizenship contingent on border measures.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or find your Senators' direct lines at www.senate.gov.
Sample call script: "I am from [City, State, Congregation], and I support immigration reform. As a person of faith, I urge the Senator to OPPOSE the Corker-Hoeven amendment, by objecting to the substitution and calling for consideration of this amendment in regular order.
WHAT IS THE CORKER-HOEVEN AMENDMENT?
This amendment would require the following before Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPIs) can obtain green cards:
- An unprecedented surge more than doubling the Border Patrol with an additional 20,000 agents along the southern border (there are currently a little over 21,000 agents, resulting in nearly a doubling of BP)
- $4.5 billion in specific technology and equipment operationalized along the southern border
- At least 700 miles of fencing completed along the southern border
- Mandatory electronic visa entry/exit system implemented at all air and sea ports of entry to detect those who overstay visas
- Mandatory employment-verification system used by all employers
- Mandates initiation of removal proceedings for at least 90% of those who overstay visas
The amendment would also prevent immigrants from getting Social Security credits for what they have already paid into the system using a social security number that was not issued to them; and restrict the Department of Health and Human Services from granting waivers to states to allow them to use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars to provide benefits to people in RPI status.
Rather than being considered as a separate amendment to the bill, the Corker-Hoeven amendment instead will be rolled into a substitute bill that includes all the provisions of the original immigration reform bill S. 744, as well as all of the amendments that have been added to the bill through the floor amendment process.