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Public Statements

Leahy Urges Bipartisan Compromise For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

The Senate will cast a procedural vote Monday on the Hoeven-Corker amendment to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is managing the bill on the floor, said the Republican amendment is part of the Senate's bipartisan process to passing comprehensive immigration reform.

"This is not the amendment I would have drafted," Leahy said, but "Because their amendment will increase Republican support for this historic, comprehensive legislation, I will support it."

The bipartisan immigration reform bill pending in the Senate will unite families and provide a legal pathway to citizenship for millions of individuals. The measure also addresses the nation's labor needs, including the needs of the agricultural sector, and it provides reasonable reforms to support refugees and asylees. Leahy called on Senators to support these important reforms.

"Today's vote for cloture on this Republican package is a vote for bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform," Leahy said. "It is a vote in favor of taking the bold steps needed to confront the current situation and give the many millions of people living in the shadows the opportunity to come in to the lawful immigration system. Now is the time for this body to come together in support of fixing a broken immigration system that hurts all of us."

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Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On The Hoeven-Corker Amendment To The Border Security, Economic Opportunity
and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744
June 24, 2013

At 5:30 today, the Senate will vote on the modification to the Leahy Amendment, which is the package put together by Senators Hoeven and Corker. As I indicated on Friday, this is not the amendment I would have drafted. Republicans demanded these aggressive border measures to secure their support for the overall legislation. Because their amendment will increase Republican support for this historic, comprehensive legislation, I will support it.

I appreciate that this package includes a provision that Senator Murray and I have worked on that takes an important step toward restoring privacy rights to millions of people who live near the Northern Border. Over the past decade DHS has periodically set up a border patrol vehicle checkpoint nearly 100 miles from the Canadian border in Vermont, and many Vermonters have questioned whether this is an effective border security measure. My provision will make significant progress in addressing that checkpoint by injecting some oversight into the decision-making process for operating checkpoints so far from the border. While this is an important step in the right direction, I am disappointed that the version in the Hoeven-Corker amendment is limited to the Northern Border, and I will continue to work on this issue so that all Americans can have their privacy rights protected.

Today's vote for cloture on this Republican package is a vote for bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. It is a vote in favor of taking the bold steps needed to confront the current situation and give the many millions of people living in the shadows the opportunity to come in to the lawful immigration system. Now is the time for this body to come together in support of fixing a broken immigration system that hurts all of us. It stifles our economy and keeps our families apart. We have gotten to this point through compromise, but we have not compromised on the core of this legislation that is intended to set so many on the path to becoming full and lawful participants in American life. And in that spirit of compromise and cooperation, which was fostered during the Judiciary Committee's consideration of this bill, I will support the amendment.


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