Immigration Bill Adopted Amendments

The following is a summary of the amendments thus far added to the Gang of Eight Immigration Bill. If the bill becomes law, the following changes would be made:

  • Feinstein (D-CA) The Southwest border state judicial districts would have judicial relief and new district judgeships in Texas, California and Arizona would be created.
  • Leahy (D-VT) The Department of Homeland Security would be authorized for $1.5 billion for fencing.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Infrastructure at southern and northern border ports of entry would be expanded and there would a requirement for consultation between local and federal government.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) State Criminal Alien Assistance Program would be extended until 2015.
  • Hirono (D-HI) Customs and Border Patrol officers would be allowed to exercise discretion when considering keeping families together.
  • Blumenthal (D-CT) There would be an exception to the funding provided to state, local and tribal jurisdictions when a person is arrested due to immigration-related crime but authorities have engaged in unlawful conduct.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Reimbursement for immigration related prosecution would be expanded.
  • Grassley (R-IA) Audits for waste, fraud and abuse would take place each year to check on the recipients of grants under the Act and would not let nonprofit organizations keep money in offshore accounts.
  • Grassley (R-IA) Border Security Plan goals would be applied to all sectors of the Southwest border, not just the high-risk sectors.
  • Schumer (D-NY) The way Congress funds the immigration reform overhaul would have minor changes.
  • Hirono (D-CA) An ombudsman for the Department of Homeland Security would be established.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Customs and Border Protection would be required to organize and deploy warcraft for maritime to support border security efforts
  • Feinstein (D-CA) A competitive grant process for Operation Stonegarden would be created.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) The Secretary of Homeland Security would be required to establish guidelines for how children are held at Customs and Border Protection Stations.
  • Flake (R-AZ) The status report deadlines on Southern Border Security Strategies would be changed.
  • Flake (R-AZ) The number of members that sit on the Department of Homeland Security’s  Oversight Task Force would be increased.
  • Cornyn (R-TX) Severe forms of trafficking in persons would be added to the violent crimes reports of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
  • Sessions (R-AL) The functions of the USCIS ombudsman would be expanded.
  • Grassley (R-IA) The Department of Homeland Security’s chief financial officer would be required to submit annual audited financial statements on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund.
  • Grassley (R-IA) Senate and House judiciary committees would receive regular reports on border security.
  • Leahy (D-VT) Border crossing fees at northern and southern borders and any studies about such fees would be prohibited.
  • Grassley (R-IA) SEVIS system information would be immediately made available to Custom and Border Protection officers at Ports of Entry
  • Hirono (D-HI) U.S.-flagged fishing vessels home-ported in Hawaii would qualify for crewmen visa rotations
  • Klobuchar (D-MN) Abused spouses and children of temporary visa holders and blue card holders would be able to self-petition through VAWA.
  • Schumer (D-NY) Foreign nationals who know certain foreign languages and are from countries that send less than 5,000 nationals per year could qualify for J-1 visas.
  • Grassley (R-IA) The Department of Homeland Security would decide on whether or not a school is to be barred from a student visa program.
  • Hirono (D-HI) Medicaid would be  available for Compact of Free Association Migrants
  • Sessions (R-AL) Consulate offices would have access to all terrorism records and databases, individuals would not be admitted unless  State and Department of Homeland Security determine individual does not pose a threat, and terror databases would be updated when a visa is taken away.
  • Klobuchar (D-MN) A pilot program would be established for a system that uses videoconferencing for nonimmigrant visa interviews.
  • Schumer (D-NY) Countries covered under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act would be eligible for E-nonimmigrant visas.
  • Hatch (R-UT) Labor Certification Fee would be increased and the extra revenue would be used for a new STEM Fund.
  • Grassley (R-IA) Internet job posting section would include more information, such as location and title.
  • White House (White House) The Department of Labor would create a free hotline for employees to report violation of H-1B visa requirements.
  • Schumer (D-NY) Clarification would be made to the following: Brand USA Travel promotion funding, backlog reductions, the J-1 visa fee, the W-visa program research methods, the authorization of the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine the wage paid to W-nonimmigrants.
  • Coons (D-DE) Dangerous deportation practices would be limited.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Flight paths of flight companies like Jettly.com would be limited.
  • Grassley (R-IA) A parent or legal guardian would be required to confirm the identification of a person underage seeking employment
  • Blumenthal (D-CT) Workers protected under workplace laws would have the right to a pay stub to have proof of employment.
  • Franken (D-MN) An office that would serve as a Small Business and Employee Advocate would be created.
  • Grassley (R-IA) Parents would be able to lock their child’s Social Security number to prevent identity theft.
  • Grassley (R-IA) USCIS would be required to provide weekly reports on those who do not pass E-verify check
  • White House (White House) Investments from start-up accelerators would be used to determine if the INVEST visa investment thresholds are satisfied.
  • Schumer (D-NY) A secondary registry of employers who are interested in hiring W visa employees already in the U.S. would be created and employers would be able exceed the cap on W-visa employees if employees leave to work for employers in second registry.
  • Leahy (D-VT) EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program would become permanent.
  • Hirono (D-HI) Hong Kong would be eligible for participation in visa waiver program.
  • Hirono (D-HI) People brought to the U.S. before the age 16 would not be denied financial aid for higher education.
  • Graham (R-SC) the Secretary of State would do additional screenings for Registered Provisional Immigrant status applicants who may pose a threat to national security.
  • Blumenthal (D-CT) The private right of action would be replaced it with an administrative process through which an employee who has a claim against an employer first notifies the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Lee (R-UT) Attempting to misuse a passport would be considered against the law.
  • Coons (D-DE) The Traffic Victims Protection Act would include genocide and systemic killings.
  • Blumenthal (D-CT) Flexible requirements and procedures would be created to improve immigration oversight and there would be a reduction in the overuse of solitary confinement form immigration detainees.
  • Coons (D-DE) The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security would be required to keep and report statistics on apprehension, detention, processing, supervision and removals.
  • Lee (R-UT) The knowing use of a fake immigration document would be included as a crime.
  • Franken (D-MN) Basic humanitarian protections for children who have parents in immigration enforcement actions would be created.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Live training of all CBP personnel who are likely to have to deal with unaccompanied alien children would be created.
  • Coons (D-DE) The asylum clock the Department of Homeland Security uses to determine work authorization eligibility would become separate from the clock the Executive Office for Immigration Review currently uses.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Codes would be created for current Asylum and Refugee Security Check Process.
  • Hatch (R-UT) A mandatory biometric exit data system pilot program would be created in core U.S. airports that support the highest volume of international air travel.
  • Coons (D-DE) A limited disclosure obligation would be created for Department of Homeland Security removal cases without a request through the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Graham (R-SC) Asylee and refugee status would end for any alien who returns to the country they sought protection from.
  • Franken (D-MN) Certain existing child protection programs would be transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Justice.
  • Klobuchar (D-MN) Elder abuse would be added to list of crimes that are the basis for a U visa.
  • Graham (R-SC) The Secretary of State would be required to report to federal law enforcement, intelligence, and national security agencies about people who overstay their visa.
  • Feinstein (D-CA) Certain Tibetans would be allowed admission to the U.S
  • Hatch (R-UT) The Amerasian Homecoming Act visa program would end.
  •  Leahy (D-VT) Immigrant victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other crimes would not wait longer than 180 days to receive their work authorization while applications are pending.

More on Immigration Reform:

  • Immigration Reform 2013
  • Gang of 8
  • Earned Citizenship
  • Streamlining Immigration
  • Strengthening Border Security
  • More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants