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Key Votes

S 1639 - Second Immigration Act of 2007 - Key Vote

National Key Votes

Ben Cardin voted Yea (Cloture Vote) on this Legislation.

Read statements Ben Cardin made in this general time period.

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Legislation - Cloture Not Invoked (Senate) (46-53) - (Key vote)

Title: Second Immigration Act of 2007

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that establishes and amends laws related to immigration in the United States.

Highlights:
  • Mandates that the provisions adopted in this act giving legal status to previously undocumented immigrants should not be adopted until the following benchmarks are met (Sec. 1):
    • The Secretary of Homeland Security has established complete operational control of the United States' border with Mexico;
    • 20,000 border-patrol agents have been hired, trained, and have reported for duty;
    • 300 miles of vehicle barriers, 370 miles of fencing, and 105 ground-based radar and camera towers have been constructed as well as four unmanned aerial vehicles in operation along the U.S. border with Mexico;
    • All undocumented immigrants crossing the border are detained, and the Department of Homeland Security has the resources to hold at least 31,500 offenders per day;
    • Employers are required to seek identification from aliens applying for jobs that include biometric data, as well as a photograph of the individual and other data; and
    • An electronic employment eligibility verification system is developed that is capable of preventing fraud, identity theft, and social security number fraud by using federal and state databases to digitally verify federal and state identification documents.
  • Allocates $4.4 billion for the Immigration Security Account, to be used for the purposes of reaching the benchmarks established in Section 1 (Sec. 2).
  • Increases the number of full time personnel authorized for Customs and Border Protection Officers by 2,000 by the year 2012 (Sec. 101).
  • Increases the number of authorized personnel for immigration and customs investigators from 800 to 1,000, increases by 800 the number positions allocated to personnel assigned to investigate alien smuggling through 2012, and increases the positions allocated to full time U.S. Marshals assisting in immigration matters by 200 through 2012 (Sec. 101).
  • Authorizes an increase of 14,000 active duty border patrol agents by 2012, with 20 percent of the increase placed along the northern border (Sec. 101).
  • Establishes the creation of a new class of border patrol agents, known as "Shadow Wolves," to patrol Native American reservations located on the 2 U.S. land borders, and authorizes the hiring of 75 new agents (Sec. 5202).
  • Mandates the construction of 14 miles of fencing, starting from the Pacific Ocean, along the border near San Diego (Sec. 103).
  • Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine the 700 miles along the southwest border that are most practical to gain operational control of the border, as well identify the 370 miles in which fencing would be most practical to deter those attempting to gain illegal entry into the U.S. (Sec. 103).
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to collect biometric data from immigrants entering and exiting the U.S. to be used at ports of entry to determine admission status (Sec. 111).
  • Mandates that the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection collect statistics regarding the cause and number of deaths at the U.S.-Mexican border and recommend actions to reduce the number of deaths (Sec. 121).
  • Mandates that the Secretary of Homeland Security implement a secure satellite communication system for border patrol agents (Sec. 123).
  • Allocates $455 million the implementation of unmanned aircraft systems for use on the border through fiscal year 2009 (Sec. 124).
  • Requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security adopt a schedule for implementing the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) system at every port of entry along the United States land border (Sec. 130).
  • Requires that all border patrol agents be given access to the Forensic Document Laboratory of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau in order to detect fraudulent documents (Sec. 131).
  • Allocates $400 million through fiscal year 2012 appropriated towards grants to local law enforcement agencies in communities located less than 100 miles from an international border to assist in addressing criminal activity along the border (Sec. 132).
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland security to construct or acquire at least twenty additional detention facilities in the United States with the capacity to detain at least 20,000 aliens detained subject to their potential removal from the U.S., and allows the Secretary to procure military installations closed under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 for additional use for the purposes of this section (Sec. 137).
  • Allocates $28 million for establishing the Northern Border Prosecution Initiative during fiscal year 2008, for the purpose of providing reimbursement to local jurisdictions on the northern border that handle federally initiated criminal cases that were deferred by the federal government, and to serve as a partner program to the Southwestern Border Prosecution Initiative (Sec. 139).
  • Increases the number of trial attorneys allocated to the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security and the number of positions for USCIS adjudicators by 400 through fiscal year 2012, increases the ratio of judicial clerks to immigration judges and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals, increases the number of positions for litigation attorneys by 200 through FY2012, increases the number of attorneys in the U.S. Attorneys' office reserved for immigration litigation by 200 through fiscal year 2012, and increases the frequency of immigration judges (Sec. 201).
  • Provides detention and removal procedures for undocumented immigrants (Sec. 202).
  • Provides criminal penalties for those who knowingly and illegally enter the United States, including sentences of up to 20 years in prison, and additionally provides extended sentences for undocumented individuals who return to the United States after being ordered to leave (Sec. 206).
  • Provides criminal penalties ranging from 5 to 25 years in prison for those who illegally produce or use immigration documents, marry for the purpose of avoiding immigration law, or attempt to defraud immigration law (Sec. 208).
  • Allows certain undocumented immigrants to depart the country voluntarily by posting bond with an immigration judge (Sec. 211).
  • Provides for new regulations regarding documentation requirements for employers hiring immigrants, including the monitoring and criminal prosecution of employers who hire undocumented immigrants, and the establishment of the Employment Eligibility Verification System (Sec. 302).
  • Requires the Social Security Administration to develop a fraud resistant, tamper proof Social Security Card, and to determine the feasibility of including biometric information, and authorizes the issuing of grants to states to aid in compliance with the REAL ID Act (Sec. 305).
  • Creates the Y-1 and Y-2b visa programs, which would allow non-agricultural employers seeking to hire aliens to petition the Department of Homeland Security, after obtaining certification from the Department of Labor.
  • Allows a stay of 2 years renewable up to2 times, with 1-year returns to home countries in between extensions for the Y-1 visa and a stay of up to 10 months for the Y-2 visa. Allows Y-1 visa holders who have adequate health insurance and an income over 150 percent of the poverty level to bring dependents for 1 2-year period, but subsequently limits their stay from 3 periods to 2 periods (Sec. 402).
  • Establishes a merit based point system for those wishing to immigrate to the United States, which allows the top 380,000 scorers every year to receive an automatic green card, and reduces family member quotas (Secs. 501-509).
  • Provides that undocumented immigrants consistently employed in the United States since January 1, 2007 be allowed to earn a Z non-immigrant visa by applying, including submitting biometric data and a background check, and allows probationary employment authorization while the application is being processed provided the applicants meet employment and civic requirements (Secs. 602-611).
  • Provides for undocumented minor immigrants who have graduated from high school or received a General Education Degree, or those who have served honorably in the armed services, to receive permanent resident status and receive federal educational financial aid (Secs. 612-616).
  • Declares English as the national language of the United States (Sec. 702).
Note:

NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.

Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Second Immigration Act of 2007

Sponsors

  • Edward M. 'Ted' Kennedy Sr. (MA - D) (Out Of Office)

Co-sponsors

  • Arlen Specter (PA - D) (Out Of Office)
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