Senator to testify on his objections to border security bill

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who has singlehandedly held up Senate consideration of a comprehensive border security bill since last year, may be the sole witness Friday before the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, which has scheduled a hearing that morning on the legislation.

Byrd lodged an objection late last year to a request to approve the legislation, crafted jointly by Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Immigration Subcommittee ranking member Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., arguing it must first be subject to debate or amendment on the floor.

The measure, which was preconferenced among lawmakers of both chambers, was approved unanimously in the House in December.

Byrd's objection, which appears to be the only obstacle to approving the measure through unanimous consent in the Senate, centers on a provision of the House-passed bill extending the 245(i) visa program, his aides said. That program allows already qualified aliens to pay a fine to stay in the United States while they apply for their legal permanent residency. The House approved a modest extension of that program.

Byrd has not articulated his concerns in depth. However, the 245(i) provisions have come under fire from groups advocating a moratorium on U.S. immigration, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, as encouraging illegal immigration and providing a loophole for terrorists to reside permanently in the country.

Advocates with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Forum fired back last week, saying Section 245(i) "does not operate independently of the long- standing provisions of our immigration laws that make known terrorists inadmissible to, and deportable from, our country."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.