First attempt to change Senate immigration bill fails
June 13th, 2013
07:20 PM ET
1 year ago

First attempt to change Senate immigration bill fails

Washington (CNN) - Backers of a bipartisan Senate immigration reform plan Thursday defeated an attempt by Republican opponents to alter the border security requirements in the bill, which could have significantly undermined support for the compromise legislation.

By a vote of 57-43, senators rejected the proposal by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to delay the legalization process for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States until the Department of Homeland Security could certify it had effective control over the Southern border for six months.

Grassley, who as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee is managing the bill for his party, complained Democrats used a procedural motion to avoid a direct vote on his amendment.

"It appears the majority is afraid to have an open debate and vote on a provision that ensures true border security before legalization," Grassley said. "They claim to be open to improving the bill, but this motion to table shows that they're not really ready to fundamentally change the bill."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Florida, a member of the so-called bipartisan gang of eight that negotiated the bill, voted against Grassley's amendment.

"Our country needs to identify and register those who are here illegally as quickly as possible," Rubio said. "We don't want the problem to get worse. If we wait three or four years to register them, instead of 10 million you're going to be dealing with 14 million."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican not part of the "gang" to vote against Grassley, a development that buoyed Democratic leaders' hopes the bill ultimately will pass with more than a handful of GOP votes.

Also Thursday, there were positive signs coming from gang of eight members surrounding fresh negotiations to bolster border security in the bill and win the support of conservative critics.

"We're working on a border security measure that can be supported both by people who support a path to citizenship and people who want further border security, and I'm optimistic we can find something," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

Negotiators are looking for "effective metrics that give us confidence that we're not just spending money, it's actually achieving something," said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, who indicated he feels "better today than yesterday" about the course of the talks.


Filed under: Charles Grassley • Immigration • Senate
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Democrats, who oppose the Grassley amendment because they think it sets security metrics that are not attainable,
    -----------------------------------------------–
    That's the whole point of the enemies of immigration reform are intending to do. Make unattainable measures which will ultimately kill the bill. Sniffit stated this yesterday. Republicans are so predictable.

    June 13, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. just sayin

    Democrats, who oppose the Grassley amendment because they think it sets security metrics that are not attainable, used a tabling motion because it allowed them to dispense with the amendment with just 51 votes.
    -----

    proof positive this is another democrat amnesty bill for illegals with no border enforcement ever implemented, just like in the 80's. no border enforcement first, no bill. broken promises of enforcement are not good enough this time democrats. obama has already proven democrats can't be trusted when he circumvented immigration laws with executive orders.

    June 13, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Is this the amendment that defines "secure" as stopping at least 95% of those attempting to cross the border? It sounds reasonable until you ask yourself, just how exactly do you measure that? How do you measure the 5% that get through....because if you can detect them then they are no longer part of that elusive 5%?

    June 13, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. it must be said

    democrats will never ever vote to secure our borders and enforce our laws. it is the party of criminals and thieves. it is how they derive their power. they will vote for whatever benefits their political party, our country be damned. it is all about lining their own pockets.

    June 13, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. just askin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    Make unattainable measures which will ultimately kill the bill.
    ---

    every goal is unattainable when you don't even try. which is the level of enforcement the democrats support.

    June 13, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    "Democrats, who oppose the Grassley amendment because they think it sets security metrics that are not attainabe"
    ------
    If solid border security is "not attainable", why should we believe that we won't have the same problem in, say, 10 years from now?

    June 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Peoples State of Illinois

    Our immigration system is not broken and does not need to be reformed. We have all necessary laws in place. It is immigration enforcement that is broken.

    June 13, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    And whoever can guess what's missing from this article, specifically to help create more "controversy," wins one internets.

    Hint: think "metrics."

    June 13, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Guess

    Right its those democrats again, this is comical at best.

    June 13, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Guess

    Anotther gop attempt at convincing us they really want reform, anyone who follows politics knew the gop would never vote to pass any immigration bill, they always say they are all for it, but in the end, make excuses why they did not actually vote for it, same as it ever was

    June 13, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Democrats literally want to give the world amnesty.

    June 13, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Is this the amendment that defines "secure" as stopping at least 95% of those attempting to cross the border? It sounds reasonable until you ask yourself, just how exactly do you measure that?"
    ------
    You use the same math that was used to bamboozle the useful idiots into believing that the Porkulus package "saved 1.5 million jobs". It should be easy for the left, right?

    June 13, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    "Democrats, who oppose the Grassley amendment because they think it sets security metrics that are not attainabe"
    --
    If solid border security is "not attainable", why should we believe that we won't have the same problem in, say, 10 years from now?
    =============================================
    It is "not attainable" because it calls for a measurement that cannot be accurately measured. See my previous post in this article. Just how exactly do you measure the 5% that slip through the net? Because if you can measure them, then they're not slipping through the net.

    June 13, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Is this the amendment that defines "secure" as stopping at least 95% of those attempting to cross the border? It sounds reasonable until you ask yourself, just how exactly do you measure that? How do you measure the 5% that get through....because if you can detect them then they are no longer part of that elusive 5%?"

    Precisely. And that's the whole point. Grassley introduced his insane "metrics" because they are deliberately caged in terms that cannot be reliably quantified. CNN busies itself with ignoring any reporting on what the bill already contains, refuses to state what Grassley's "metrics" are....all so that Grassley's entire goal in proposing his nonsensical poison pill amendment can be met: he and the GOP/Teatrolls will now pretend that the current version contains nothing about border security and that rejection of Grassley's proposal equates with rejection of any border security improvements at all. They will then walk away from the table saying that it all fell apart because the Dems/liberals wouldn't support border security and will go on tv interlacing their talking points with blatantly false claims about Obama failing to enforce the laws...despite the facts we so often repeat about him setting records for deportations, etc. And the bobbleheads won't challenge them on it at all, because citing FACTS contrary to GOP/Teatroll talking points is "biased.'

    June 13, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Can't wait to see the vile comments from the lefties against a man they believe should be in lock-step with them.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Oh dear – someone needs to lay off the sour grapes before she gets a tummy ache.

    June 13, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Michael Benjamin

    Democrats have no intention of significantly modifying this bill. All the power players have already agreed to what each side will accept. It is a done deal in the Senate and will die in the House. Republicans are destined to a permanent minority party at the national level. END OF STORY.

    June 13, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Wilson

    Cheaper border security: Heavy fines for companies/businesses/people that hire illegal aliens. Get rid of the reason they are here and they will leave on their own.

    June 13, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Peoples State of Illinois

    It is not simply blacks, it is the "African-American" mindset that American blacks embrace. I worked with some African immigrants, smart people, hard working, in love with the American Dream, who said pretty much to a man "What the heck is wrong with these American blacks?? Don't they see how much opportunity there is here?".
    -----------
    They just had figured out that the playing field is tilted against them, yet.

    June 13, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Peoples State of Illinois

    There should be no "pathway to citizenship" for illegal aliens.

    June 13, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. JustAO

    These conservative middle-aged white men can't get over the fact that our country is getting browner and browner with each passing generation. And so for all the denial, they put asinine policies to make sure that the priveleges they have acquired through government spending and societal access don't go toward anyone else who doesn't look like them since Obama took office. Sadly, they will be the minority in time and i'm not so sure history will be as forgiving to them.

    June 13, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Peoples State of Illinois

    As Grassley argued in support of his amendment, that combination occurred the last time Congress passed amnesty legislation in 1986. In that bill, 3 million illegals were immediately legalized with the promise of securing the border in the future. That border security, obviously, never happened.

    Schumer's admission also underscores that the Gang bill is chiefly about legalizing the 12 million illegals in the country.

    June 13, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    ""Is this the amendment that defines "secure" as stopping at least 95% of those attempting to cross the border? It sounds reasonable until you ask yourself, just how exactly do you measure that?"
    --
    You use the same math that was used to bamboozle the useful idiots into believing that the Porkulus package "saved 1.5 million jobs". It should be easy for the left, right?"

    Untrue. Those claims were based on expert studies and projections. While not quite as solid as actually being able to point to a specific 1.5M people who say their job was saved, it's far more reliable than trying to measure 95% of something that inherently includes 5% that inherently cannot in any way be known, measured or projected. If they snuck through, they weren't there to be counted. Grassley's proposal includes no allowance for projections or setting reasonably attainable goals based on historic numbers, etc., and you can bet your xenophobic butt that it was on purpose.

    June 13, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Seth A Drekin

    I would gladly support Grassley's Amendment if he could come up with a way to actually count the number of people who we don't see illegally cross the boarder..

    June 13, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. John

    Get real- there's no plan to implement security, just like there was no intention to enforce existing immigration laws. Why? There's no benefit to lawmakers. They're more interested in votes than enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. How is that not obvious to everyone?

    June 13, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Guest

    Treasonous conduct by our politicians.

    June 13, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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