Four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are calling on their Senate colleagues to heed their warnings about the Senate immigration reform bill.
In a “Dear Colleagues” letter Tuesday, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, Mike Lee and Chuck Grassley highlight their concerns about the bill and the instances in which the Judiciary Committee failed to make what they believe to be improvements to the legislation in mark-up.
“During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of S. 744, the common-sense amendments offering real solutions were rejected,” the senators wrote. “The bill’s proponents repeatedly reference an unalterable ‘deal’ that had been struck beforehand. As a result, the core provisions of the bill remain the same. If passed, S. 744 will leave out borders unsecure and our immigration system deeply dysfunctional.”
They added that the committee’s adoption of several other amendments, offered by Democratic committee members, served to “significantly weaken current law, hamstring law enforcement, and further complicate out legal immigration system.”
The letter points to nine areas of concern that were some of the reasons they voted against the bill in committee, including that S. 744:
· Provides immediate legalization without securing the border
· Rewards criminal aliens, absconders, and deportees and undermines law enforcement
· Contains extremely dangerous national security loopholes
· Facilitates fraud in our immigration system
· Creates no real penalties for illegal immigrants and rewards them with entitlements
· Delays for years the implementation of E-Verify
· Does not fix our legal immigration system
· Advanced through a process predicated on a deal struck before markup
· Rewards those who have broken our laws by offering a special path to citizenship
“Americans expect their government to end the lawlessness, not surrender to it. They deserve immigration reform with actual border security, enforcement of the laws on the books, and a legal immigration system that works,” the senators wrote. “We must welcome and celebrate legal immigrants, but S. 744 fails to deliver anything more than the same empty promises Washington has been making for 30 years.”
They concluded that the legislation would serve to exacerbate the current problems.
“The last thing this country needs right now is another 1,000-plus page bill that, like Obamacare, was negotiated behind closed doors with special interests. We want immigration reform to pass, but only if it actually fixes the broken system, rather than allowing the problems to grow and fester,” the senators wrote.