Saturday, March 11, 2006

California Poll on Attitudes Toward Immigrants

Californians are concerned about undocumented immigrants, but few worry that immigrants are taking jobs away from native works. Most Californians, according to this recent Field poll, support a guestworker program.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/09/BAGSVHL04P1.DTL

bh

March 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Film

Synopsis

A U.S. Homeland Security official watches a video of Laura, a Mexican woman whose husband died in 2003 along with 18 others in the worst immigrant smuggling case in U.S. history. "How many more deaths does it take for the U.S. government to do something?" she asks.

LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE interweaves video letters carried across the U.S.-Mexico border by the film's director with the personal stories of women left behind in post-NAFTA Mexico.

Director Heather Courtney interacts with her subjects through her unobtrusive camera, providing an intimate look at the lives of the people most affected by today's immigration and trade policies. Her use of video letters provides a way for these women to communicate with both loved ones and strangers on the other side of the border, and illustrates an unjust truth - as an American she can carry these video letters back and forth across a border that these women are not legally allowed to cross.

The immigration debate is heating up again, with the U.S. House recently passing a bill that includes building 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. By focusing on a side of the immigration story rarely told by the media or touched upon in our national debate, LETTERS offers a fresh perspective, painting a complex portrait of families torn apart by economics, communities dying at the hands of globalization, and governments incapable or unwilling to do anything about it.

Heather Courtney
Director/ Producer, Letters from the Other Side
512-565-1628 cell

http://www.lettersfromtheotherside.com

KJ

March 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 10, 2006

The ABA on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The American Bar Association's statement on the need for COMPREHENSIVE immigration reform.

http://www.abanet.org/poladv/priorities/immigration/CIROnePager.pdf

KJ

March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AILA Position Paper on H-1Bs

here is an AILA position paper in H-1B visas

Download aila_h1b_position_paper_31006.pdf

KJ

March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senate Bill Could Increase H-1Bs

Buried in the legislation that is being debated in the Senate Judiciary committee is a proposal that would increase the H-1B visas to 115,000 with the possibility of increasing another 20%.

See

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/10/MNGV9HLVAE1.DTL

bh

March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brennan Center Objects to Judicial Review Provisions of Immigration Reform Legislation

Immigration Tidbits

From Refugees To Americans: Thirty Years Of Vietnamese Immigration To The United States

Alicia Campi for the Immigration Policy Center writes "Thirty years after the fall of the Saigon government, Vietnamese Americans celebrate the fact that they have moved far beyond their refugee origins and become successful economic and political players in U.S. society."

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2006,0313-campi.shtm

http://www.ailf.org/ipc/ipc_index.asp

EOIR Issues AWO Fact Sheet

The Executive Office for Immigration Review issued a fact sheet on the Board of Immigration Appeals' restructuring and affirmance without opinion procedures.

http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2006,0313-BIAstreamlining.pdf

KJ

March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Update on Amendments to Senate Bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Makes Some Headway in Markup, Defers Difficult Questions

The Senate Judiciary Committee finally began to make some headway today in its markup of Chairman Specter’s draft bill on comprehensive immigration reform, known as the “Chairman’s Mark.”  The Committee officially took up the bill last Thursday (March 2), but got little beyond opening statements.  Progress was also scarce on Day 2 of the markup yesterday, when Chairman Specter had difficulty maintaining a voting quorum.  Several competing committee markups plus Senate floor votes seemed to be the primary cause of the attendance problems, with committee members coming in and out throughout the day, but rarely numbering the 8 required for votes to occur.

The Committee finally appeared to hit its stride today, although it continued to defer action on much of the more controversial subject matter. Chairman Specter has been proceeding through the Mark sequentially, and has only made it through Titles I and II thus far, leaving an incredible amount of work yet to be done in the two markup sessions that remain. (As background, Senate Majority Leader Frist has threatened to bring his enforcement-only legislation directly to the Senate floor unless the Judiciary Committee produces a bill by March 27.)  The controversial and highly technical titles dealing with employer sanctions, the undocumented population, a guestworker program, and judicial review all still await consideration.

That having been said, the following is a very brief summary of the amendments that have been addressed thus far.  We will continue to update you as action on the bill continues.

Summary of Wednesday, March 8, amendments:

1. A Feinstein amendment that would add more border patrol agents was deferred for future consideration.

2. A Brownback/Sessions amendment on information sharing between the Social Security Administration and the DHS was deferred for future consideration.

3. A Kyl amendment on more fencing along certain sectors of the border in Arizona was deferred for future consideration.

4. A Kyl amendment on increased detention beds was accepted by the bill manager (Chairman Specter) and will be part of a further amended Chairman’s Mark.

5. A Kyl amendment mandating and authorizing funding for DHS to provide sufficient transportation for aliens apprehended by state/local authorities passed by voice vote.

7. A Cornyn amendment providing for the reimbursement to states and local governments for training and equipment costs related to the enforcement of federal immigration laws passed by voice vote.

8. A Durbin amendment to strike the Mark’s criminalization of unlawful status, and to ameliorate its smuggling provision so as not to criminalize humanitarian assistance, was deferred for future consideration.

9. A Cornyn amendment that would authorize the DHS Secretary to deny a visa to any alien from a country that has denied or unreasonably delayed the acceptance of its citizens who are ordered removed from the U.S. passed by a voice vote.

10. The Committee deferred action on a Feingold three-part amendment that would:

(1) strike the “described in” language throughout Title II of the bill (that would bar benefits to aliens “described in” certain sections of the statute and the criminal code);

(2) reinstate the judicial review of naturalization decisions that the Mark would do away with; and

(3) assure full access to the federal courts when naturalization proceedings are delayed.  Again, the Mark would effectively negate such review.

11. A Leahy amendment on cooperation between the U.S. and other governments on security-related issues was deferred.

12. A Brownback amendment to strike the sunset of J-waiver program for foreign doctors in underserved areas was deferred.

13. A second Brownback amendment to exempt nurses and physical therapists from the annual employment-based and country caps was also deferred.

14. A Coburn amendment to mandate expedited removal within 100 miles of the southern border and within 14 days of entry was deferred.

15. A Sessions amendment to the Kyl amendment on fences was withdrawn.  Senator Sessions indicated that he may reoffer it on during floor consideration.

16. A Cornyn amendment barring convicted sex offenders from sponsoring family members was deferred.

Summary of Thursday, March 9, amendments:

1. A Kyl amendment to provide more fencing in certain Arizona sectors passed by voice vote.

2. A related amendment by Kennedy requiring a study prior to construction of any additional physical barriers also passed by a voice vote.

3. A Sessions amendment to increase the number of Border Patrol Agents from 2,000 to 2,400 passed by voice vote.  A related amendment by Graham to require the Department of Defense to liaise with DHS and to inform its riffed and/or otherwise departing military personnel of employment opportunities available within the Border Patrol also passed by a voice vote.

4. A Kennedy amendment to improve agency coordination on alien smuggling issues passed by voice vote.

5. The Committee reserved action on a Sessions amendment to increase penalties for evading inspection.

6. A Sessions amendment to provide an extension of preemption to required construction of day laborer shelters passed by voice vote.

7. A Grassley amendment to require the DHS Inspector General to review all contracts related to the Secure Border Initiative worth $20 million or more passed by voice vote.

8. A Leahy amendment on cooperation between the U.S. and other governments on security-related issues was once again deferred.

9. A Sessions amendment requiring the mandatory detention of “Other Than Mexicans” (OTMs) apprehended at or between the ports of entry passed by a voice vote.  The amendment would take effect on Oct. 1, 2006, with an interim period beginning 60 days after enactment during which the DHS Secretary could release an alien after completion of appropriate background checks and with the posting of a bond of at least $5,000.  There was lots of debate on the issue, most of it centering on the current shortage of detention space.  In addition, the amendment as drafted provides an exception for Cubans.  There was some confusion about this carve-out and it is unclear whether Members modified the amendment to eliminate it.

10. A Cornyn amendment barring convicted sex offenders from sponsoring family members passed by voice vote.

11. A Grassley amendment to increase the number of enforcement personnel allocated to each state passed by voice vote.

12. A Grassley amendment to add habitual drunk driving to the list of aggravated felonies was reserved for future action.

13. A Durbin amendments to (1) strike the section of the Mark that would criminalize unlawful status, and (2) ameliorate the smuggling provisions so as not to criminalize the provision of humanitarian assistance were deferred, with instructions to staffers to work out details of the humanitarian assistance language.

14. Over Feingold’s strong objections, the Committee once again deferred action on a Feingold three-part amendment that would:

(1) strike the “described in” language throughout Title II of the bill (that would bar benefits to aliens “described in” certain sections of the statute and the criminal code);

(2) Reinstate the judicial review of naturalization decisions that the Mark would do away with; and

(3) Assure full access to the federal courts when naturalization proceedings are delayed.  Again, the Mark would effectively negate such review.

15. A Brownback amendment to permanently authorize the J-1 waiver program for foreign doctors working in underserved areas passed by a voice vote.

16. A Brownback amendment to exempt nurses and physical therapists from the annual employment-based and per-country caps was again deferred.

17. A Coburn amendment authorizing the DHS to impose expedited removal mandating expedited removal within 100 miles of the southern border and within 14 days of entry passed on a voice vote, as did a 2nd degree amendment excluding LPRs from expedited removal.

18. The Committee deferred action on a Kennedy amendment that would strike the retroactive application of some of the Mark’s provisions.

19. A Feinstein amendment providing a carve-out for refugees and asylees from the Mark’ passport fraud provisions (section 208) passed on a voice vote, with an agreement that her staff would work with Kyl’s staff to tighten the language.

bh

March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Appeals in the Federal Circuit?

For a critique of Senator Spector's proposal to move immigration appeals to the Federal Circuit, see

Download bna_proposal_to_shift_immigration_appeals_to_federal_circuit_draws_file_3.10.2006.pdf

KJ

March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Immigration Tidbits

Senator Clinton recently spoke out against House Republicans accusing them of trying to create a "police state" to round up illegal immigrants, and marks a sort-of reversal on her approach on immigration policy. For the full Washington Post story, see here.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/08/AR2006030801672.html

Monuments, Manifest Destiny, And Mexico

Michael Dear writes "Though lacking the glamour of war or the grandeur of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the boundary survey is one of the greatest events in U.S. political history and remains deeply present in our contemporary lives."

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2006,0310-dear.shtm

http://www.usc.edu/academe/faculty/

KJ

March 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Undocumented students and College Prospects

Today's Washington Post takes a look at a Virginia bill that would completely bar undocumented immigrants from attending Virginia state colleges.  The story, which notes the demise of the possibility for legislation that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, is here.

-jmc

March 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights Position

Here is a detailed announcement for the position of Executive Director at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, USA.

Download IHRLI_Executive_Director_Position.pdf

KJ

March 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Protests Against Immigration Legislation

Tens of thousands of immigrant workers rallied outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, protesting what they consider hateful legislation targeting illegal immigration. A coalition of labor unions, churches and community groups organized the rally against H.R. 4437, a strict border-control and immigration enforcement bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives late last year. The legislation calls for building a new security fence along portions of the U.S.-Mexico border and toughens penalties against both illegal immigrants and the people who employ them. "Immigrants do not want to be political scapegoats. We're tired of that," union organizer Jaime Contreras, of the Service Employees International Union, told a sea of people standing below the Capitol steps. Contreras said he came to the country illegally from El Salvador as a teenager, later became a citizen and served in the military. Speakers denounced the enforcement-focused House bill, just as the U.S. Senate has started crafting a different version that is likely to include a guest-worker program granting legal status to many of the estimated 12 million people who entered the country illegally. The rally opened with a prayer, read in both Spanish and English, accusing those who backed the enforcement-only bill of being "atheists," because it ignores Biblical passages that talk about the need to welcome strangers. The speaker said he was praying for unnamed members of Congress "because they have become atheists, because if they were Christians they would not have this kind of law." That offended Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Colorado Republican who leads the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus and is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. "It goes to show how mean-spirited this debate has gotten," Tancredo spokesman Will Adams said Tuesday. "They say if you want tougher border security . . . that somehow you're against God. That's radical speech. That doesn't represent the vast majority of believers in this country." In a written statement, Tancredo denounced the SEIU for bussing illegal immigrants to attend the rally. "Mass illegal labor drives down the wages of legal workers," Tancredo said. "But instead of defending American workers, the SEIU sees illegal labor as its salvation. The rally goes to show how much labor unions have sold out the American worker." The crowd at the rally stretched from the Capitol steps to the nearby reflecting pool, covering most of the same grassy areas that are crowded every four years for the presidential inauguration. Surveying the crowd, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called it the most impressive crowd he has seen in all his years in Congress. But Tancredo said the presence of so many presumed illegal immigrants sent a different message. "If anything," Tancredo said, "the protestors should remind Congress of how poorly our laws are being enforced, and how much we should step up enforcement." Source: Scripps-Howard, Mar. 7, 2006 bh

March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Report: US/Mexico Border Counties Coalition

US/Mexico Border Counties Coalition

At the Cross Roads: US/Mexico Border Counties in Transition

March 2006

http://iped.utep.edu/bcc/

Former Texas Comptroller John Sharp's 1998 publication Bordering the Future:  Challenge and Opportunity in the Texas Border Region, provided a succinct and well-documented assessment of the economic, political, and social condition of the Texas border counties. The "Sharp Report," as it is often referred to, made it very clear that border problems, such as high rates of unemployment and chronic illness, have significant consequences for the southwest border region and the United States. At the same time, the "Sharp Report" provided a single source of substantive Texas border county data that allowed for region-wide discussion of border issues. To follow-up on the report, the United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition commissioned this report to further examine critical economic, political, and social issues facing the 24 counties that make up the U. S. southwest border (See Map 1.1).

The role of the United States' border with Mexico has never been more critical to the economic and political stability of the United States. Often overlooked by policy makers, the southwestern border remains a strategic and relatively secure resource in support of international trade and homeland security. This has become more important since September 11th, as cross-border trade provides a critical and continual flow of goods and services into the United States. Cross-border activity results in more than Mexico's dependency on the United States for trade and investment capital for industrial development. American industry and manufacturing require a stable and constant flow of components and parts to build a range of products, making the southwestern border a strategic resource in the calculus of the U.S. economy. These considerations and other concerns provided the basis for this report.

A variety of key policy issues exerting influence on the political, social, and economic conditions of the border for the next five to ten years are examined in this report. These are contained in the following chapters:

Executive Summary (20 mb)

I. Outside Cover (4 mb)

II. Inner Cover

III. Contributors & Sponsors

IV. Table of Contents

V. Executive Summary

VI. Chapter 1 Introduction

VII. Chapter 2 US Border Populations

VIII. Chapter 3 Mexico Border Populations IX. Chapter 4 Income X. Chapter 5 Labor Force, Labor Pool, and Unemployment XI. Chapter 6 Employment XII. Chapter 7 Public and Higher Education XIII. Chapter 8 The Environment XIV. Chapter 9 Health and Health Care XV. Chapter 10 Trade and Border Traffic XVI. Chapter 11 Immigration XVII. Chapter 12 Housing XVIII. Chapter 13 Crime and Law Enforcement XIX. Chapter 14 Fiscal Balance of Payments and Taxation XX. Contacts

KJ

March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Comments on New Pew Hispanic Center Report

From http://marccooper.com/reality-check/

As some of you know, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently reporting on the border and overall immigration policy (I have pieces on this issue soon appearing in the The Atlantic, The Nation and on

Truthdig.com)

.

So I was particularly interested in the

immigration report released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center

. The findings are not surprising for anybody familiar with the subject. But they starkly reconfirm the central fact that undocumented workers — or if you prefer illegal aliens– are an ever greater and more integral part of the American labor force.

The simple fact is that these folks are going to be here — are already here– and we can decide as a society to either keep them "illegal" or finally acknowledge their existence and grant them sort of human status.

The key finding in the Pew report is that a decade’s worth of tighter border enforcement has resulted only in forcing those who make it here safely to stay here longer (as it’s too dangerous and too expensive to move back and forth across the border). Meanwhile:

– The pace of illegal immigration has only accelerated with about half-million more people joining the resident undocumented population every year.

– The resident undocumented population in the U.S now probably tops 12 million.

– The undocumented now perform one of every four ag jobs, one in six cleaning jobs, one in seven construction jobs and one in every eight restaurant jobs.

The good news is that this month, after twenty years of denial and demagogy, the U.S. Senate is finally taking up comprehensive reform. The

bad news

is that real reform might be D.O.A.

Both parties have miserably failed on this matter. After proposing such reform (to his credit), President Bush lost his nerve and has pretty much ceded the debate to the Minuteman wing of his own party. As to the Democrats…well…Ted Kennedy is the only one of national stature that has had the courage to unfailingly champion this cause.

KJ

March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Comments on Specter Mark Immigration Reform Bill

"The Chairman's Mark has some very serious problems, including not providing a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, creating a permanent caste of second class workers, and limiting due process and judicial review."

[from a 3-8-06 email action alert from http://cirnow.org/]

KJ

March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and the Harvard Human Rights Program Study

The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and the Harvard Human Rights Program have released a study finding that overbroad "material support" provisions of U.S. anti-terror law are threatening to exclude thousands of legitimate Burmese refugees from protection. In the first study of provision's practical effects, researchers found that as many as 80% of the Burmese populations surveyed may be labeled as engaging in material support or "terrorist" activities and barred from resettlement under the current interpretations of the bar. The material support bar affects both refugees abroad and those seeking asylum in the United States. It applies regardless of whether the "support" was coerced or provided to oppose a repressive regime condemned by the U.S. government.

Study:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/asylum_law/Material_Support_Study.pdf

Press Release:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/asylum_law/Material_Support_Press_Release.pdf

The Harvard

New York Times Article on the material support bar and Harvard study:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/08/politics/08immig.html

Also on the topic of overbroad U.S. immigration laws, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and Human Rights program have sent the Senate a letter condemning provisions of the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (Specter's mark) that broadly criminalize unlawful presence and the use of irregular documents to enter the country. These provisions would criminalize many bona fide refugees and could exclude them from protection in violation of U.S. obligations under the Refugee Protocol. The letter is available at http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/asylum_law/legislation/Harvard_Letter_to_Judiciary.pdf

The ImmigrationProf Blog has published a list of amendments to CIR offered before last week's markup. The amendments include provisions that would limit birthright citizenship to children of U.S. citizens (if birth is out of wedlock, mother must be U.S. citizen), expand expedited removal, deny visas to nationals of countries not cooperating with deportation of its nationals from the U.S., vastly expand local enforcement of immigration laws, and increase penalties for several of the new offenses created by the existing bill. See http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/

Finally, senate staffers are asking for one- to two-paragraph write-ups of sympathetic refugee stories relevant to provisions of CIR (e.g. a former client who could be denied protection due to document fraud). The stories will be used in efforts to strike certain enforcement provisions of Specter's mark. If you have a moment to help out, please e-mail your write-up to mmuller@law.harvard.edu

KJ

March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sports Break

The Voice of Agriculture on Immigration Reform

AFBF Study: Immigration Reform Must Include Guest-Worker Provisions

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2006 – Failure to include comprehensive guest-worker provisions in any new or reformed immigration law could cause up to $9 billion annually in overall losses to the U.S. agriculture industry and losses of up to $5 billion annually in net farm income, according to a detailed study released by the American Farm Bureau Federation today.

If Congress ultimately approves a new immigration law that does not account for agriculture’s needs for guest workers, like the bill approved by the House last year, then the consequences for American agriculture will be dire, according to the study.

For more, see http://www.fb.org/news/nr/nr2006/nr0207a.html

http://www.fb.org/news/nr/nr2006/02-07-06/labor%20study-feb06.pdf

KJ

March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Amendments Offered to Spector Bill

Amendments Filed to the Chairman’s Mark

Last Updated: Monday, March 6, 2006  --  11:30 pm

The rules of the Senate Judiciary Committee require first degree amendments to legislation to be filed with the Committee by 5:00 pm on the night before the markup.  And so, while more than 50 amendments to the bill were filed prior to last week’s markup, it is possible that more will be filed between the time of this writing and the convening of this week’s markup.

The Committee will consider amendments to the bill by title.  Accordingly, since more than 30 amendments to titles I and II of the Chairman’s mark had been filed at the time of this writing, it is widely anticipated that the Committee will only deal with amendments to Titles I and II during this week’s markup sessions.

The following lists the amendments that were filed prior to last week’s markup:

·         Amendments to Title I

  1. Hatch North American Security Amendment (Hatch #2).  Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) filed an amendment to allow broader interagency consultation in producing the report in section 113 of the bill on improving the exchange of information on North American security.

  1. Durbin Border Security Evaluation Exercise Amendment.  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) filed an amendment that would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to design and carry out a national border security exercise that involves officials from Federal, State, territorial, local, tribal, and international governments and representatives from the private sector.

  1. Sessions Fence Amendment.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) filed an amendment that would require the construction of a 2-layered fence and other security improvements along the U.S. border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

  1. Northern Border Fence Feasibility Study.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) filed an amendment that would strike sections 129(b) and 129(C)(2) from the Chairman’s Mark.  Those sections would require the study of the feasibility of constructing a northern border barrier.

  1. Grassley US-VISIT Amendment.  Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) filed an amendment that would strike section 124 of the Chairman’s Mark, which would require DHS to submit a timeline for equipping all land borders with the US-VISIT entry/exit system, developing and deploying the exit component of the US-VISIT system at all land borders, and making all border screening systems operated by the Department interoperable.

  1. Kennedy Civil Rights Training Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would amend section 123 of the Chairman’s Mark to require an evaluation of civil rights and human rights training provided to DHS officers.

  1. Kennedy Independent Review Commission of Border Personnel Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would amend section 101 of the Chairman’s Mark to establish an Independent Review Commission to oversee the activities of federal agencies at the border, require a study of the impact that the current number of CBP agents has had on the civil and human rights of residents along the U.S. border, and authorize funds for DHS’ Office of Inspector General to investigate and analyze complaints of misconduct leveled against CBP officials by border residents.

  1. Kennedy Environmental Impact of Border Infrastructure Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would amend section 103 of the Chairman’s Mark to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study of the environmental impact current infrastructure has had on sensitive environmental areas.

  1. Kennedy Additional Ports of Entry Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would amend section 105 of the Chairman’s Mark that would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to estimate economic impacts of border wait times in the U.S.-Mexico border region, as well as to promote collaborative efforts among local, state, federal inspection agencies.

  1. Kennedy National Strategy for Border Security Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would amend section 112 of the Chairman’s Mark to add several new requirements to the “national strategy for border security” that section 112 would require the Secretary to develop.  The new requirements seek to protect the rights of vulnerable populations as well as protect the civil rights of persons encountered along the U.S. border.

·         Amendments to Title II

  1. Kennedy Amendment to Strike Provision Relating to the Removal and Denial of Benefits to Terrorist Aliens.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) has filed a amendment to strike section 201 from the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 201 would amend the INA to deny various immigration benefits, including asylum, cancellation of removal, voluntary departure, withholding of removal, and registry to various classes of non-citizens whom the Attorney General suspects of having engaged in “terrorist activity” or falling within other security-related grounds, and would make these amendments retroactive to acts or conditions occurring or existing before enactment of these amendments.

  1. Kennedy Amendment to Strike Provision Relating to the Detention and Removal of Aliens Ordered Removed.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) has filed an amendment that would strike section 202 of the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 202 would modify the detention and removal procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) after a final removal order has been entered.

  1. Kennedy Amendment to Strike Provision Making it More Difficult for Persons to Naturalize.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy filed an amendment that would strike section 204 of the Chairman’s Mark, which would create new hurdles for persons seeking to naturalize.

  1. Hatch Interior Trafficking Amendment (Hatch #3).  Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) filed an amendment that would establish an American Local and Interior Enforcement Needs (ALIEN) Task Force to identify and counter the use of national, state, and local transportation infrastructure to further the trafficking of unlawful aliens within the United States.

  1. Hatch State and Local Enforcement of Immigration Laws Amendment (Hatch #6).  Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) filed an amendment that would establish a grant program for state and local law enforcement agencies entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Federal government, a portion of which would be specifically dedicated to interior enforcement efforts.

  1. Brownback J-1 Visa Amendment.  Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) filed an amendment that would eliminate the impending June 1, 2006, sunset of a provision of law first established in 1994 that allows foreign nationals who complete their medical training in the United States to stay in the United States if they agree to work as physicians in specified rural and urban areas.

  1. Cornyn/Kyl Denial of Visas to Countries That Deny or Delay Accepting Deportees Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-AZ) filed an amendment to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to deny a visa to any alien from a country that has denied or unreasonably delayed the acceptance of a citizen, subject, national, or resident of that country who has been ordered removed from the United States.

  1. Cornyn/Kyl State and Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) filed an amendment that would provide for the reimbursement of States and local governments for training and equipment costs relating to the enforcement of Federal immigration laws.

  1. Coburn Gang Amendment.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) filed an amendment that would strike section 205 of the Chairman’s Mark relative to the inadmissibility of certain aliens who participate in street gangs, and substitute a provision that would deal with gang members more harshly, including making them inadmissible without providing the Secretary with waiver authority, permitting the Secretary to designate groups as gangs, and requiring the mandatory detention of gang members.

  1. Kennedy Gang Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would strike section 205 of the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 205 would increase penalties relating to alleged gang membership and association, failure to depart after removal, and alien smuggling, and would also make changes to rules for Temporary Protected Status.

  1. Durbin Aggravated Felony for Smuggling Amendment.  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) filed an amendment that would ensure that smuggling offenses be treated as an aggravated felony only if the alien’s term of imprisonment is at least one year.

  1. Durbin Timeline for Background Checks Amendment.  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) filed an amendment that would add a new provision to section 216 of the Chairman’s Mark requiring that background and security checks on persons seeking immigration benefits be completed within 60 days

  1. Durbin Anti Indefinite Detention Amendment.  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) would strike section 202(a)(1)(F) of the Chairman’s Mark, which would permit the Secretary of Homeland Security to indefinitely detain certain aliens.

  1. Sessions CLEAR Act Amendment.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) filed an amendment that is based on S. 1362, the “Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act”, also known as the CLEAR Act.  Like S. 1362, the amendment would provide explicit legal authority to state and local police officers to enforce federal civil immigration laws.  The amendment, further, would encourage police participation by awarding them assets seized from undocumented immigrants, permitting them to seek funds from the federal government for failure to pick up undocumented immigrants and granting them limited immunity from lawsuits.  In addition, the amendment would mandate the entry of civil immigration information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, which is a database of wanted persons maintained by the Federal Bureau of Information for local law enforcement use.  It also would increase penalties for immigration status violations. 

  1. Cornyn Denial of SCAAP Reimbursements for Non-Cooperation with Immigration Authorities Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) filed an amendment that would deny reimbursements under the SCAAP program if a State or local government has a policy that restricts the flow of immigration-related information with the Department of Homeland Security.

  1. Grassley Drunk Driver Amendment.  Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) filed an amendment that would make an alien who is convicted of a third drunk driving offense an aggravated felon and, thus, subject to mandatory detention, removable, and ineligible for most immigration benefits.

  1. Kennedy Unlawful Presence Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) would strike section 206 from the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 206 would make presence in the United States, knowing that such presence violates the terms and conditions of any admission, parole, immigration status, or authorized stay, a crime punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to 6 months, or both.  A second or subsequent violation of that offense or of unlawful entry, or following an order of voluntary departure, would be punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to two years, or both.  The penalty for this offense and for unlawful entry would be further increased to (1) up to 10 years imprisonment if the violation occurred after conviction for 3 or more misdemeanors or a felony; (2) up to 15 years imprisonment if after conviction for a felony for which the sentence imposed was 30 months or more; (3) up to 20 years imprisonment if after conviction for a felony for which the sentence imposed was 60 months or more.  The prior convictions would be elements of the crime that must be pled and proven beyond a reasonable doubt or admitted by the defendant.

  1. Kennedy Passport Fraud Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) has filed an amendment that would strike section 208 of the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 208 would amend 18 U.S.C., Chapter 75 to include a host of new passport, document-related, and marriage fraud offenses and, in some instances, would reduce the level of intent required (which, by extension, expands the number of people who can be prosecuted).

  1. Kennedy Inadmissibility for Passport and Immigration Fraud Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would strike section 209 of the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 209 would amend the INA inadmissibility and removal grounds to add convictions or admissions of conduct relating to passport, visa, and immigration fraud.  (as added by Section 208(a)), and Section 209(c) would make these changes applicable in any pending or future proceedings regardless of whether the conduct at issue occurred before the enactment of these amendments.

  1. Kennedy Passport Fraud as Aggravated Felony Amendment.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would strike section 221of the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 221 would amend the INA definition of “aggravated felony” to add any passport, visa, and immigration fraud offense listed in chapter 75 of the federal criminal code, and would remove the exemption in certain cases for a first offense that the person committed to help a spouse, child, or parent enter or remain in the country.

  1. Kennedy Amendment on Deterring Aliens Ordered Removed from Remaining in the United States Unlawfully.  Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) filed an amendment that would strike section 212 of the Chairman’s Mark.  Section 212 would amend the INA to bar non-citizens who are subject to a final removal order, and who willfully fail or refuse to depart from the United States, or to make timely application for travel documents necessary for departure, from eligibility for any discretionary relief from removal during the time the non-citizen remains in the United States and for a period of 10 years after the non-citizen’s departure from the United States.  The only exceptions would be for a non-citizen who has filed a timely motion to reopen under INA 240(c)(6), or who has filed a motion to reopen to seek withholding of  removal under INA 241(b)(3) or protection against torture but only if the non-citizen presents proof of changed country conditions arising after the date of the final removal order.

·         Amendments to Title III

  1. Sessions Information Sharing Amendment.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has filed an amendment that would facilitate the sharing of immigration and social security information between the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

·         Amendments to Title IV

  1. Hatch Private Issuance of Guest Worker Visas Amendment (Hatch #7).  Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) filed an amendment that would require a study on licensing private employment agencies to issue guest worker visas.

  1. Brownback S Visa Amendment.  Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) filed an amendment that would expand the “S” nonimmigrant visa to include aliens who are in possession of critical reliable information with respect to weapons of mass destruction and to modify reporting requirements, increase the maximum number of allowable “S” visas from 250 per year to 1,000 per year, and modify the Secretary of Homeland Security’s reporting requirements regarding the admission of aliens under the “S” visa.

·         Title V

No Amendments to Title V were filed

·         Amendments to Title VI

  1. Cornyn/Kyl Supplemental Fee for Conditional Work Authorization Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) filed an amendment that would require aliens seeking conditional nonimmigrant work authorization and status under section 601 of the Chairman’s Mark to pay a supplemental application fee, which would be used to provide financial assistance to States for health and education al services to aliens granted the status.  The amendment, further, would require the alien, rather than the employer, to pay the $500 fee for entry into the conditional nonimmigrant program.

·         Amendments to Title VII

  1. Cornyn/Kyl Assistant Attorney General for Immigration Enforcement Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) filed an amendment that would establish the position of Assistant Attorney General for Immigration Enforcement within the Department of Justice to coordinate and prioritize immigration litigation and enforcement in the Federal courts.

  1. Cornyn/Kyl Fairness in Immigration Litigation Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) filed an amendment that would add a new subtitle C to Title VII of the Chairman’s Mark.  The new subtitle, which would be titled, the “Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act of 2006”, would limit class action civil actions pertaining to the administration or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States; limit the ability of the courts to provide relief in civil actions pertaining to the administration or enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States; restrict the ability of the courts to grant an order granting prospective relief if the order affects or impacts any determination relating to expedited removal; preclude and nullify certain consent decrees.

·         Amendments to Title VIII

No amendment to Title VIII was filed.

·         Amendments Impacting Multiple Titles

  1. Hath #1.  Senator Orrin Hatch filed an amendment that would increase penalties throughout the bill.  The amendment would touch titles II, III, IV and VI.

·         Amendments Not Designated for a Specific Title

  1. Cornyn Sex Offenders Petitioner Amendment.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) filed an amendment that would prohibit U.S. citizens or LPRs who have been convicted of certain sex offenses from petitioning for relatives to join them in the United States.

  1. Birthright Citizenship Amendment.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) filed an amendment that would deny birthright citizenship for certain children who were born in the United States.  Under the Coburn amendment, birthright citizenship would be denied for children born in wedlock unless at least one of the parents is a citizen of the United States, a national of the United States, or an LPR who maintains his or her residence.  For children who are born out of wedlock, the amendment would deny birthright citizenship unless the mother is a citizen of the United States, a national of the United States, or an LPR who maintains her residence here.

  1. Coburn Expedited Removal Amendment.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) filed an amendment that would expand the mandatory use of expedited removal to all aliens (other than Mexicans, Canadians, and Cubans) who are encountered within 100 miles of a U.S. land border and who have been in the United States for fewer than 14 days.

  1. Graham Enhanced penalties for Slavery Amendment.  Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) would increase penalties for slavery.

  1. Sessions Inspection Evasion Amendment.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) filed an amendment that would impose penalties of up to five years imprisonment, in some cases, and up to ten years imprisonment in other cases, on those who evade inspection or, violate arrival, reporting, entry, or clearance requirements.

  1. Kyl Detention Beds Amendment.  Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has filed an amendment that would amend section 5204 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004 by increasing the number of detention beds that must be added each year between fiscal year 2006 through 2010 from 8,000 per year to 10,000.  The amendment also would authorize such funds as may be necessary to carry out the increase from fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

  1. Kyl Transportation and Processing of Illegal Aliens Apprehended by State and Local Governments Amendment.  Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has filed an amendment that would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide sufficient transportation and officers to take illegal aliens apprehended by state and local law enforcement officers into custody for processing a DHS detention facility.  The amendment also would authorize such sums as may be necessary to carry out the mandate.

  1. Sessions Tax Loophole Amendment.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) filed an amendment that he contends would close tax loopholes currently available to businesses that employ illegal aliens.

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March 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)