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Public Statements

Senator Santorum Votes to Provide States with Temporary Use of the National Guard to Protect Borders and Support Wage Fairness for Farmers & Employees

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Location: Washington, DC


Senator Santorum Votes to Provide States with Temporary Use of the National Guard to Protect Borders and Support Wage Fairness for Farmers & Employees as Senate Immigration Debate Continues

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, announced his support of several amendments considered by the United States Senate yesterday to S. 2611, the Immigration Reform bill.

"As we continue the meaningful debate on immigration reform in the United States Senate this week, I will continue to support amendments that strengthen the bill such as the two I voted in favor of yesterday -- to strengthen our nation's borders and to address wage fairness for agricultural workers. However, I will not vote for a final bill that provides amnesty," said Senator Santorum.

Senator Santorum supported an amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV), which provides reimbursement for the temporary use of the National Guard to secure the southern border of the United States. With the approval of the Secretary of Defense, the governor of any state may order the use of the National Guard for not more than 21 days in a year to provide "command, control and continuity of support" such as ground and airborne reconnaissance, logistical, tactical and administrative support, communications services and emergency medical services on the southern border. However, the amendment would ensure that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, rather than National Guard personnel, would directly perform any law enforcement function. The amendment passed by a vote of 83-10.

Senator Santorum also supported an amendment offered by Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) that would create wage parity between workers coming through the traditional H2-A program for legal temporary agriculture workers and any new program for agricultural workers. Current law does not reflect location, occupation, or skill level, which unfairly penalizes those agricultural workers who use the legal program in place for temporary agricultural workers, and serves to prevent those in the new program from earning the same prevailing wage. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Santorum is particularly concerned about protecting agricultural workers and ensuring wage fairness. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to adopt this amendment.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1817&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0

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