The fifth day of the immigration reform bill debate began May 21, and there are still many problems for leaders to address. On Tuesday, senators discussed some of the final controversial changes to the bill, including increasing the number of visas for the high-tech industry and whether or not to allow people in same-sex marriages to apply for green cards for their spouses. Leaders plan to have a final vote by the end of the week.
Although debates have been going on around the clock to pass or deny the 300 amendments to the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” legislation, little traction from opponents has been made, and the Department of Homeland Security continues to scrutinize the language in the bill. The department is concerned with safety issues that the Senate has yet to resolve.
“Reverting back to a system that treats violent criminals the same as children brought to this country through no fault of their own would only undermine the integrity of the immigration system and force law enforcement agencies to divert limited resources from focusing on those who pose real threats to their communities,” Peter Boogaard, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, told The New York Times.
On May 20, the panel agreed to ban immigrants from returning to their home countries after being granted asylum in the United States. According to The Washington Post, anyone returning to his or her native country after being granted refugee status in the U.S. would not be allowed back, due to the recent Boston bombings. The two brothers convicted of the attack returned to Russia after the Tsarnaev family sought asylum from their home country of Dagestan in 2002.
Also on the list of approved amendments was initiating fingerprint tracking systems at 10 of the United State’s’ largest international airports within two years of the bill’s approval.