The Senators after debating for 5 days, have strengthened the immigration reform bill of the Gang of Eight. The amended bill would strengthen America’s borders, mandate E-verify, modernize the country’s immigration system and fix the visa overstay problem. This improved bill would address the needs of the country. 301 amendments were filed by the senators and 93 amendments were adopted by the committee.
Border Fencing Requirements
The Cornyn-Leahy Amendment would make sure that the US Department of Homeland Security makes use of the funds that the bill would allocate to deploy and replace border fencing across the southern border and at the US ports of entry. Likewise, Senator Grassley’s amendment would strengthen border security triggers in the Senate immigration reform bill. His amendment would also require the US Department of Homeland Security to focus on the country’s entire border and not only on the high risk sectors.
Visa Overstay Tracking System
Out of the 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, 40 percent of them are the non-immigrants who entered into the United States legally and overstayed their non-immigrant visas. This has happened as the country does not have an effective exit system. Amendments filed by Senators Graham and Hatch would add a biometric exit system feature and permit the US Department of Homeland Security to identify and remove foreign nationals who overstay their non-immigrant visas.
The other most important provision of the immigration reform bill is the part of the bill that would mandate E-Verify. Senator Grassley’s amendment would require the Director of the USCIS to submit reports of the people who are not authorized to work in the United States, to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, every week. His amendment would also require the parents to lock the Social Security numbers of their children within the E-Verify system and prevent their children from becoming victims of fraud.
Student Visa tracking System
An amendment filed by Senator Grassley that would enhance Student Visa tracking System, was added to the immigration reform bill of the Gang of Eight. According to this amendment, US schools would be required to meet few accreditation requirements.
New Judges to Prosecute Cases
New district court judges would be added to the southwest border to prosecute cases.
Federal Aid for DREAMers
This bill would not only permit DREAMers to become US citizens sooner, but would also permit the DREAMers obtain federal aids for education and student loans. Nevertheless, they cannot apply for Pell grants.
Use of False Documents
Use of fraudulent documents would be considered a criminal offense according to the amendment filed by Senator Mike Lee. Similarly, an attempt to use a fake passport would also be considered a criminal offense.
Creating New Jobs
Senator Hatch’s amendment would create more new American jobs and it would increase the fees for employment based visas. The additional fees would be added to the STEM education fund. This provision added to the Senate immigration reform bill is similar to that of the “I-Squared” bill. His amendment would also protect the American workers and encourage high tech firms to create jobs in the country.