Senators argue over immigration bill ID mandates - FOX 35 News Orlando

Senators argue over immigration bill ID mandates

Posted: Updated:
  • ImmigrationMore>>

  • Obama asks Central American leaders for help

    Obama asks Central American leaders for help

    President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.
    President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.
  • House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:26 GMT
    The House passed a bill Friday that would gradually increase the popular child tax credit and make it available to more families with higher incomes.
    More families with higher incomes could claim the popular child tax credit under a bill that won approval Friday in the House. But in a dispute that divides Republicans and Democrats, millions of the poorest low-income...
  • House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:24:43 GMT
    Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal...
    At an impasse on immigration, House Republicans and Senate Democrats advanced competing proposals Wednesday for dealing with tens of thousands of young migrants showing up at the southern border. Each side quickly ruled...

By ERICA WERNER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senators weighing a landmark immigration bill defeated an effort by Republicans Tuesday to require biometric identification - such as fingerprinting - to track who is entering and leaving the country.

The amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., would have required a biometric system to be in place before any immigrant here illegally could obtain permanent residency or citizenship.

"This is a big, big hole in the system and it's gone on for years and years," Sessions said as the Senate Judiciary Committee opened its second day of meetings to plow through hundreds of amendments to legislation remaking the U.S. immigration system, a top priority for President Barack Obama.

"This is one of the reasons the American people have so little confidence in any of the promises we make," Sessions said.

An author of the bill, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, agreed with Sessions that biometric IDs are the most secure. But he said authors of the bill determined they were too costly to implement anytime soon. Indeed current law already requires such a system to be in place, but the Department of Homeland Security has been unable to implement it.

Instead the bill seeks electronic scanning of photo IDs.

"Current law is a concept, and there is apparently not a whole lot of will by Republicans or Democrats to make the concept a reality," Graham said. "What we've done is taken the current system and make it better."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said a biometric system would cost $25 billion. He and other Democrats said Sessions' amendment would simply throw up barriers to a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12 to 6 to defeat Sessions' amendment. Graham and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., joined with the Democrats on the committee in voting it down.

Graham, Flake, Schumer and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., are four of the eight authors of the immigration bill. Since they sit on the Judiciary Committee together they have resolved to vote together against amendments that could strike at the core provisions of the legislation and threaten the fragile alliances behind it.

An author of the bill who's not on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said through a spokesman that he was disappointed in the outcome of the amendment and planned to push as the bill moves forward to add biometric screening into the legislation. Rubio is working to sell the bill to fellow conservatives, and is hearing complaints that it is too soft on border security. He's said those aspects of the bill need to improve or it is unlikely to pass Congress.

The committee also voted 17-1 to defeat an amendment by Sessions to greatly curb new legal immigration programs under the bill, which creates a new visa for lower-skilled workers and also allows many more high-tech workers into the country. An amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to require additional information on job openings to be posted on the Labor Department website before an employer can hire a foreign worker on a high-tech visa passed by voice vote.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices