U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement about the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven Gang of Eight substitute amendment:
"When the Gang of Eight first introduced their plan, they made a series of promises about their proposal. Each of those was subsequently proven to be false. Today, the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven rescue amendment was dropped on the Senate floor. Members and staff have only until Monday afternoon to read through the 1,187 pages of this modified proposal. Already, in a short time, we have identified grave and deep flaws in the modified bill -- both in terms of failure to live up to new promises made as well as some shocking changes that actually further weaken the underlying bill. The special interests who wrote these provisions know exactly what they do and designed them not to work -- but I fear some of the Senators who sponsored this amendment have no idea they're even there:
--The Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment doesn't change the bill's amnesty first framework. Instead it goes even further and creates an automatic amnesty for future illegal aliens. Section 2302 says if you overstay your visa in the future you can still apply for a green card and become a citizen. It is permanent lawlessness. Joined with existing language that restricts future enforcement, it guarantees unending illegal immigration.
--Contrary to their rhetoric there is no border surge. The Secretary doesn't even have to start hiring new border patrol agents until 2017, and the amendment only gives her until 2021 to increase the number by 20,000. According to the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents, this hiring process could take up to 20 years. Much like the 2006 law requiring a 700-mile border fence, it's never going to be happen.
--To raise money, the amendment increases fees on visas for legal immigrants, but keeps the same low fees and fines for those applying for amnesty -- favoring illegal over legal immigrants. Under the 2007 comprehensive immigration bill, amnesty applicants had to pay up to $8,000 -- vastly more than the fines in the current plan which total only $2,000 and are subject to numerous waivers. The Gang has repeatedly claimed their bill is completely paid for by fees. However, under the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment, the American taxpayers are on the hook for $38 billion.
These are undoubtedly only some of the new flaws that will be uncovered in the proposal. And the largely unchanged original bill retains its scores of many flaws including: amnesty first, legalization for criminal aliens, decimated interior enforcement, and a massive increase in low-skill legal immigration.
The Gang of Eight's proposal -- modified or not -- still guarantees three things: amnesty, lower wages, and higher unemployment."