WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), today opposed the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). The bill passed by a 68-32 vote.
“I am disappointed with today’s Senate passage of the Immigration bill which gives amnesty to illegal immigrants, and does so before meaningful border security is achieved,” said Inhofe. “The law only requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) submit two strategies for border enforcement before ‘provisional immigrant’ status is granted to illegal aliens. The border security provisions in the bill allow too much discretion to the Department of Homeland Security. They are full of exemptions and discretionary language. DHS has proven itself incapable of enforcing existing law. To make matters worse, once the DHS, not Congress, determines operational control of the border has been attained, this triggers an automatic process for illegal aliens to attain permanent residency, and ultimately citizenship. Furthermore, this bill fails to adequately address the federal benefits that illegal aliens receive. No immigration proposal is complete without provisions that reform the entitlements and other public sector resources that attract and keep these individuals in the country.”
Sen. Inhofe introduced four amendments to S. 744 that were not granted a vote by the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
- The Keep Our Communities Safe amendment would close the legal loophole that requires immigration authorities to release back into the United States, illegal aliens that have not been accepted for deportation to other countries after being detained for six months. This practice is also referred to as "catch and release."
- The English Language Unity amendment would declare English as the official language of the United States and require the federal government to preserve, protect and enhance the role of the English language within our government.
- The Common Sense English amendment would protect private employers who chose to have an English language requirement in the workplace from frivolous lawsuits from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- The Multilingual Services Accounting amendment would require the annual budget report to congress to include the amount of taxpayer money each government agency spends on translation services each year.