Senate Judiciary Committee rejects 9/11 Commission-preferred visa system, ends border security amendments

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Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ari., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the Republican members of Senate Judiciary Committee that helped draft the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill, again voted with committee Democrats today to defeat another conservative amendment that would have strengthened United States border security before illegal immigrants are given legal status.

Sen. Jeff Sessions’, R-Ala., amendment would have required the implementation of a biometric entry and exit system at all ports of entry before any currently illegal immigrant could be granted legal permanent resident status. Nine years ago the 9/11 Commission Report recommended such a system and in 2004 Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which directed the DHS to “accelerate the full implementation of an automated biometric entry and exit data system.”

That biometric visa entry/exit system still does not exist today.

The Schumer-Rubio bill actually weakens current law by asking the DHS to begin implementing a biographic system, not a biometric system, which the Gang of Eight thought was too expensive.

After Flake, Graham, and the Democrats voted down Sessions’ amendment, Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., ended all further amendments on border security and moved to amendments on future flows of immigration.

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