Senate Judiciary Committee Completes Markup of S.744: Select Amendments of Interest to States

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On May 21, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act by a vote of 13-to-5. More than 300 amendments were filed on S.744. The Judiciary Committee considered 212 amendments, of which 141 were adopted.  

This document includes selected amendments that may be of interest to states related to enforcement, employment verification (E-Verify), human trafficking, public benefits and education.  The amended bill and complete list of amendments can be found at the Senate Judiciary Committee website.
 

 

Amendment

 

Summary of Amendment

 

Status

TITLE II - IMMIGRANT VISAS
Coons 10
(as amended)
This amendment prohibits the denial of business or professional licenses on the basis of immigration status for those who have work authorization. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Blumenthal 12 This amendment provides a faster track to naturalization for Registered Provisional Immigrants who serve in the armed forces. It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Hirono 21
(as amended)
This amendment makes young people legalizing through the DREAM Act portion of the bill eligible for certain student loans, work study programs and other programs. It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Feinstein 13 This amendment would allow funds from the grant program established in Section 2106 to be used to assist agricultural workers applying for blue card status. A second degree amendment had to do with dual intent on certain student visas. The amendment as amended was approved by voice vote. The amendment as amended was approved by voice vote.
Cruz 2 This amendment would permanently bar legalizing immigrants from means-tested public benefits, regardless of eventual citizenship status. This amendment was rejected in a 6-to-12 vote. Rejected in a 6-to-12 vote
Flake 4 This amendment requires regular audits to ensure that persons in RPI status are not accessing means-tested public benefits, and makes clear that anyone with RPI status who accesses mean-tested public benefits through fraud will have their status revoked. (The bill bars persons with RPI status from federal means-tested benefits.) It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Cornyn 8
(as amended
This amendment would facilitate establishment of EB-5 (investor visa) regional centers in communities where there have been military base closures. It was accepted by voice vote. Accepted by voice vote
Coons 9
(as amended)
This amendment sets requirements for DHS to contact employers and employees concerning non-confirmations and confirmations in the electronic worker verification system. It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Grassley 19 This amendment (as modified) would require certain monitoring of immigration benefits fraud, and require annual reports from DHS. It was accepted by voice vote. Accepted by voice vote
Klobuchar 5
(as amended)
This amendment pertains to requirements in a program to attract nonimmigrant doctors to underserved areas. It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
     
TITLE III - INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT
Leahy 3 This amendment makes VAWA self-petitioners eligible for work authorization, and requires DHS to issue work authorization for those who have approved VAWA petitions or whose petitions have been pending for more than 180 days. It also requires issuance of work authorization to those with approved T or U visa applications or whose applications have been pending for more than 180 days. It was approved by voice vote. Approved by voice vote
Graham 2
(as amended)
This amendment would require DHS to attempt to locate and remove a non-immigrant who has overstayed his or her visa. This amendment was accepted by voice vote. Accepted by voice vote
Klobuchar 2 This amendment would add elder abuse to the list of crimes for which victims may be eligible for a U visa. This amendment was accepted by voice vote. Aaccepted by voice vote
Franken 8
(as amended)
This amendment would transfer responsibilities for providing a child advocate and access to counsel for child victims of trafficking, as specified in the Victims of Trafficking Protection Act, from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Justice. It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Coons 8 This amendment requires work authorization to be issued to asylum applicants after 180 days. The amendment was agreed to by voice vote. Agreed to by voice vote
Feinstein 5 This amendment would mandate training of Customs and Border Protection personnel regarding child trafficking. It was accepted by voice vote. Accepted by voice vote
Franken 7 This amendment adds a new subtitle H to Title III, the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act. It would require DHS to follow certain procedures after apprehending persons who are parents of minor children in the U.S. It was adopted by a vote of 18-to-0. Adopted by a vote of 18 to 0
Lee 16
(as amended)
This amendment makes changes to the bill to restore the criminal offense of knowingly using a fraudulent immigration document. It was accepted by voice vote. Accepted by voice vote
Session 10
(as amended)
This amendment would define an immigrant as a public charge if he or she was eligible to receive certain federal means-tested benefits. It was rejected in a voice vote. Rejected by voice vote
Blumenthal 4 This amendment added language to the bill concerning the protections against trafficking by foreign labor recruiters. It was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Sessions 32
(as amended)
This amendment asserts states have inherent authority to enforce immigration laws; denies states or localities reimbursement for incarcerating criminal non-citizens if they have policies prohibiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents; and it would force the federal government to re-enter into 287(g) agreements with states and localities and provides states and localities with judicial review should an agreement be terminated. The amendment was rejected by voice vote. Rejected by voice vote
Hirono 22
(as amended)
This amendment, the Child Trafficking Victims Protection Act, sets up special protections for apprehended unaccompanied alien minors. It was accepted by voice vote. Accepted by voice vote
Grassley 44
(as amended)
This amendment makes conviction for three or more drunken driving offenses an aggravated felony, and therefore would make an immigrant removable. At least one of the convictions must be after the date of enactment of the bill. This amendment was approved in a 17-to-1 vote, with only Chairman Leahy opposing. Approved in a 17-to-1 vote, with only Chairman Leahy opposing.
Blumenthal 8
(as amended)
This amendment would limit the authority of the government to press immigration enforcement actions in certain sensitive locations, such as hospitals, churches, schools and other locations. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. Adopted by voice vote
Hirono 15 This amendment permits Medicaid coverage for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Pala Adopted by voice vote
Feinstein 1 This amendment reauthorizes SCAAP assistance for states incarcerating unauthorized immigrants for certain crimes. Adopted by voice vote
Grassley 29 This amendments delays the preemption of state laws relating to the hiring, continued employment, or employment status verification of unauthorized aliens until all employers are using the federal E-Verify system 5-13, not agreed to