Senate rejects Vitter amendment on biometric entry-exist system

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate Dems rip GOP on immigration ruling Bernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senate heads toward internet surveillance fight MORE (D-Vt.) called Vitter's amendment "prohibitively expensive" and urged colleagues to vote against it.

Republican Gang of Eight Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamDefense contingency misuse threatens national security Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote MORE (S.C.), John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Pentagon hails Fallujah's recapture | Texts to VA suicide hotline went unanswered Defense contingency misuse threatens national security Former Bush national security official backing Clinton over Trump MORE (Ariz.), Marco RubioMarco RubioThe Trail 2016: Warren takes VP batting practice Democrats: Momentum on our side in abortion fight US, Mexico have mutual ambassadors for first time in over a year MORE (Fla.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeMcConnell quashes Senate effort on guns Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote Senate Republicans may defy NRA on guns MORE (Ariz.) voted against Vitter's amendment, along with GOP Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiGOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling Kerry visits Arctic Circle to see climate impacts Senate panel clears EPA spending bill, blocking rules MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsReid: McConnell silence on Trump 'speaks volumes' The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE (Maine) and Kelley Ayotte (N.H.). Democratic Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood Ex-Sen. Landrieu joins law and lobby firm MORE (Ark.) voted for the entry-exit system amendment.

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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 GrassleyOvernight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | FCC chief drops changes to media ownership rules Dozens of senators push EPA for higher ethanol mandate Civil liberties group mobilizes against surveillance amendment 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 TesterBernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment 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 ThuneWeek ahead: Senate panel takes up location data bill Republicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Short-term FAA bill would likely extend into next year, GOP chairman says MORE (R-S.D.), which would have required the construction of more border fencing before illegal immigrants were given provisional legal status.

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