For the third day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s mark-up of the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” committee members continued to work through Title Four (specifically regarding the W visa program) and began debating Title Three (about interior enforcement). The senators considered 21 amendments and passed 11 of them with mostly bipartisan support. Four amendments were withdrawn. The adopted changes included Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) amendment to protect children’s social security numbers from identity theft and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) proposal to help immigrant entrepreneurs. And they approved multiple changes to the E-Verify language in the Senate immigration bill to both strengthen the program and help small businesses comply with the new regulations.
Here are the amendments the Senate committee approved on Thursday:
Hirono 4: To provide for the eligibility of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for designation for participation in the visa waiver program for certain visitors to the United States
Leahy 2: To permanently authorize and improve the EB-5 Visa Program
Schumer 5 with second degree: To modify the W nonimmigrant visa program
Whitehouse 1 with second degree: To provide for qualified startup accelerators with respect to nonimmigrant INVEST visas, and for other purposes
Franken 2 with second degree: To enhance the accuracy of the E–Verify System
Grassley 31: To require the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to produce a detailed weekly report that contains information about individuals for whom a nonconfirmation was received through the Employment Verification System
Coons 1: To require the Secretary to develop protocols to notify individuals that a query for the individual has been processed through the Employment Verification System and to submit other queries
Grassley 38: To establish a program that allows parents to limit the use of their children’s social security numbers to prevent identity theft
Franken 4 with second degree: To provide for the establishment of the Office of the Small Business and Employee Advocate
Blumenthal 18: To prohibit withholding of employment records as an unfair immigration-related employment practice
Grassley 36: To require that an attestation as to an individual’s identity for purposes of work authorization under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act be made by the individual’s parent or legal guardian
Senate Judiciary Committee members will pick up with the remaining Title Three amendments as well as some remaining amendments about H-1B visas starting on Monday. And still to come is debate about amendments to Title Two, which includes legalization for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said at the end of Thursday’s hearing that the committee will continue the mark-up through next week.
by Amanda Peterson Beadle