Senate rejects Vitter amendment on biometric entry-exist system

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyNBA pulls All-Star Game from NC over bathroom law When America denies citizenship to servicemembers Criminal sentencing bill tests McConnell-Grassley relationship MORE (D-Vt.) called Vitter's amendment "prohibitively expensive" and urged colleagues to vote against it.

Republican Gang of Eight Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamVulnerable GOP senators praise Kaine Meghan McCain: ‘I no longer recognize my party’ Ex-UN ambassador John Bolton: Trump should take back NATO remarks MORE (S.C.), John McCainJohn McCainFox News bests major networks in convention ratings Meghan McCain: ‘I no longer recognize my party’ Why a bill about catfish will show whether Ryan's serious about regulatory reform MORE (Ariz.), Marco RubioMarco RubioBudowsky: Why Warren masters Trump Meghan McCain: ‘I no longer recognize my party’ Five ways Trump’s convention was a success MORE (Fla.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeVulnerable GOP senators praise Kaine GOP Sen. Flake offers Trump rare praise Booker denounces ‘lock her up' chants MORE (Ariz.) voted against Vitter's amendment, along with GOP Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiBig Oil makes a push for risky and reckless Arctic drilling GOP divided over 0M for climate fund Overnight Energy: House passes first Interior, EPA spending bill in seven years MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Trail 2016: Words matter Lobbyists bolting Trump convention early GOP sen at convention: I'm not ruling out voting for Clinton MORE (Maine) and Kelley Ayotte (N.H.). Democratic Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (Ark.) voted for the entry-exit system amendment.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Senate is expected to continue amendment work on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act throughout June. The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

McCain said Vitter’s amendment could “delay” the immigration process for years. He also pointed out that the underlying bill has entry-exit measures, including the implementation of a system at sea and air ports.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyTop Dem Senate hopefuls to skip convention Election to shape Supreme Court Why one senator sees Gingrich as Trump's best VP choice MORE (R-Iowa) pointed out that an effective entry-exist system is already suppose to be in place but that previous administrations have “thumbed their noses at the laws on the books.” He added that the Gang of Eight bill weakens this law by saying entry-exit systems need to be in place at only some points of entrance and it doesn’t require it to be a biometric system, which uses finger prints.

“This is a border security issue,” Grassley said of Vitter’s amendment. “It’s a national security issue and without this measure we are not in control of our borders.”

Republicans have warned that some border security amendments have to be adopted in order to gain more GOP support for final passage of the bill.

The Senate voted on other amendments Tuesday afternoon — all were held to a 60-vote threshold for passage.

Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE’s (D-La.) amendment was the first amendment accepted to the bill. Her amendment passed on by voice-vote and clarifies U.S. international adoption laws to ensure adoptees are granted U.S. citizenship. It would also repeal the pre-adoption parental visitation requirement for automatic citizenship and allow just one parent to visit the country of origin of the adoptee, rather than both adoptive parents.

Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterSenate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Bayh jumps into Indiana Senate race Six senators call on housing regulator to let Congress finish housing finance reform MORE’s (D-Mont.) amendment received a 94-0 vote. It expands the new Border Oversight Task Force to include tribal members so they can make border security recommendations relating to Native American tribes on the Northern and Southern border.

Earlier Tuesday, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneFCC chief pushes phone companies to offer free robocall blocking How the new aviation law will affect your travel GOP chairman seeks answers about Tesla’s autopilot feature MORE (R-S.D.), which would have required the construction of more border fencing before illegal immigrants were given provisional legal status.

More in Senate

Senate Dems block 'sanctuary cities' bill

Read more »