Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) announced his support for an amendment to the immigration bill that will strengthen the existing bill's border security measures by stiffening the green card trigger.
Heller has been working with Senators Corker and Hoeven on the amendment, which also includes Senator Heller's proposals to protect Nevada tourism. Previously, Heller filed amendments to increase Customs and Border Patrol officers at airports (Amendment #1235) and require the Department of Homeland Security to outline what resources are needed to implement a biometric entry/exit system at the top-ten international airports (Amendment #1234).
"All along, the border security language in the existing bill has been a concern for me and many of my colleagues. This proposal is a realistic and measured approach that will finally solve one of the most difficult problems facing our broken immigration system. I'm pleased to cosponsor this measure, which not only includes my amendments to protect Nevada tourism, it may also be just the fix this bill needs to pass the Senate," said Senator Dean Heller.
Heller proposals included in the bill:
Require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit a report on how DHS intends to implement a biometric entry/exit system for ten highest-volume airports. This amendment simply ensures that airports, which will be required to comply with the entry/exit mandate before any other port of entry, know how this system will be implemented, what resources may be needed and how it will affect the flow of travelers (Amendment #1234 to S. 744).
Require DHS to develop a plan to reduce wait times at airports with the highest volume of international travelers. The amendment also increases the number of Customs and Border Protection officers deemed necessary (Amendment #1235 to S. 744).
The broader compromise proposal requires the following conditions before a green card could be issued:
The Department of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Inspector General of the Department, and the Comptroller General of the United States (GAO), has submitted a Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy to Congress that includes minimum requirements for each sector along the border as identified by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the plan has been deployed and is operational.
Deploy an additional 20,000 border patrol agents on the Southern border.
Double the fencing at the border by adding an additional 350 miles of fence and a comprehensive Border Fencing Strategy has been submitted to Congress, implemented, and completed.
The Secretary has implemented the mandatory employment verification system
The Secretary is using the electronic entry/exit system at all international air and sea ports of entry within the United States where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are currently deployed.