June 11, 2013(Key vote)
Title: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that amends United States border security measures and immigration eligibility requirements.
- Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant the status of “registered provisional immigrant” to any undocumented immigrant who meets all eligibility requirements, submits a complete application, and has paid all fees and penalties within one year of the enactment of this bill (Sec. 2101).
- Specifies that registered provisional immigrant status remains valid for up to 6 years (Sec. 2101).
- Establishes the following eligibility requirements for an undocumented immigrant seeking registered provisional immigrant status (Sec. 2101):
- The immigrant must have maintained physical presence in the United States from December 31, 2011 through the date on which the immigrant is granted provisional immigrant status;
- The immigrant must not have been convicted of a felony offense or 3 or more misdemeanor offenses; and
- The immigrant must not be an individual who the Department of Homeland Security has reasonable grounds to believe has engaged in terrorist activity.
- Authorizes a registered provisional immigrant to be issue a social security number, and to enlist in the Armed Forces (Sec. 2101).
- Authorizes a registered provisional immigrant to apply to extend the provisional immigrant status for additional 6-year terms, provided the following requirements are met (Sec. 2101):
- The applicant has satisfied any applicable federal tax liability;
- The applicant was regularly employed while classified as a registered provisional immigrant; and
- The applicant has submitted necessary biometric and biographic data and successfully passed background checks.
- Authorizes the Secretary to adjust the status of a registered provisional immigrant to that of an lawful permanent resident if the individual meets certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following (Sec. 2102):
- The individual was granted registered provisional immigrant status and remains eligible for such status;
- The individual has satisfied any applicable federal tax liability;
- The individual continues to meet employment requirements, or has proven full-time attendance at an institution of higher education or secondary school;
- The individual can demonstrate an understanding of the English language; and
- The individual can provide proof of registration under the Military Selective Service Act.
- Prohibits a registered provisional immigrant from becoming a lawful permanent resident until after the Secretary of State has certified the availability of visas for all petitions filed and approved before the enactment of this bill (Sec. 2102).
- Prohibits the Secretary of Homeland Security from adjusting the status of registered provisional immigrants until after the Secretary submits to Congress a written statement certifying the following (Sec. 3):
- The Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy has been implemented;
- The Southern Border Fencing Strategy has been implemented;
- The Employment Verification System has been implemented; and
- The Secretary is using an electronic exit system at air and sea ports of entry.
- Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant lawful permanent resident status to any registered provisional immigrant who demonstrates fulfillment of the following requirements (Sec. 2103):
- The individual has been a registered provisional immigrant for at least 5 years;
- The individual was younger than 16 years of age upon initial entry to the United States;
- The individual has acquired a degree from an institution of higher education or has served in the Armed Services for at least 4 years;
- The individual has undergone background checks conducted by the Secretary of Homeland Security; and
- The individual has applied for lawful permanent resident status.
- Prohibits an employer from hiring, recruiting, referring, or employing an immigrant who is not authorized to work in the United States (Sec. 3101).
- Establishes an Employment Verification System to enable employers to confirm an individual’s identity and employment authorization (Sec. 3101).
- Establishes the crime of knowingly employing, hiring, recruiting, or referring 10 or more undocumented immigrants within the United States, punishable by a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment (Sec. 3101).
- Establishes a merit-based system for future visa allocation taking into account education, employment experience, eligibility for a high demand occupation, relation to current citizens, and English language proficiency (Sec. 2301).
- Authorizes undocumented immigrants working in the agriculture industry to receive blue card status and to apply for permanent resident status provided the following requirements are met (Sec. 2211 & 2212):
- The individual worked in the United States agriculture industry for at least 575 hours or 100 work days during the 2-year period ending on December 21, 2012;
- The individual has received security and law enforcement clearance from the Secretary of Homeland Security; and
- The individual has satisfied any applicable federal tax liability.
- Establishes the nonimmigrant agricultural visa program for immigrants residing in foreign countries who come to the United States for a temporary period to work in the agriculture industry (Sec. 2231 & 2232).
- Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement the following strategies (Sec. 5):
- A Southern Border Fencing Strategy to identify where 700 miles of fencing and technology should be deployed along the Southern border; and
- A Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy for achieving and maintaining effective control at and between all points of entry along the Southern border.
- Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to increase the number of trained U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers by 3,500 by September 30, 2017 (Sec. 1102).
- Requires the Commissioner of U.S. customs and Border Protection to deploy additional surveillance systems and unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles in the Southwest border region (Sec. 1106).
- Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish additional border patrol stations and forward operating bases in the Southwest border region (Sec. 1104).
- Requires the Secretary to provide “appropriate” training for all Border Protection Officers, Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and agents, Air and Marine Division agents, and agriculture specialists stationed within 100 miles of any United States border (Sec. 1112).
- Establishes the Southern Border Security Commission to make recommendations to the President, the Secretary, and Congress, on border security policies to achieve and maintain persistent surveillance and an effectiveness rate of 90 percent or higher along border regions (Sec. 4).
- Establishes the Department of Homeland Security Border Oversight Task Force to review immigration and border enforcement policies, recommend ways of strengthening collaboration between border communities and Federal agencies, and evaluate the training of border enforcement personnel (Sec. 1113).
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.