BORDER SECURITY, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, AND IMMIGRATION MODERNIZATION ACT--MOTION TO PROCEED
(Senate - June 11, 2013)

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[Pages S4086-S4093]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 BORDER SECURITY, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, AND IMMIGRATION MODERNIZATION 
                         ACT--MOTION TO PROCEED


                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order and pursuant to rule 
XXII, the Chair lays before the Senate the pending cloture motion, 
which the clerk will state.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to 
     proceed to Calendar No. 80, S. 744, a bill to provide for 
     comprehensive immigration reform, and for other purposes.
         Harry Reid, Patrick J. Leahy, Robert Menendez, 
           Christopher A. Coons, Mazie K. Hirono, Dianne 
           Feinstein, Bill Nelson, Benjamin L. Cardin, Sheldon 
           Whitehouse, Al Franken, Richard Blumenthal, Ron Wyden, 
           Jack Reed, Patty Murray, Michael F. Bennet, Tom Harkin, 
           Charles E. Schumer, Richard J. Durbin.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
motion to proceed to S. 744, a bill to provide for comprehensive 
immigration reform, and for other purposes, shall be brought to a 
close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Oklahoma (Mr. Coburn), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. 
McCain), and the Senator from Alaska (Ms. Murkowski).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Alaska (Ms. 
Murkowski) would have voted ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 82, nays 15, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 146 Leg.]

                                YEAS--82

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Boxer
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Chambliss
     Chiesa
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cowan
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Moran
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                                NAYS--15

     Barrasso
     Boozman
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Grassley
     Inhofe
     Kirk
     Lee
     Risch
     Roberts
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Coburn
     McCain
     Murkowski
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 82, the nays are 
15. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Manchin). Under the previous order, the 
time until 4 p.m. will be equally divided and controlled between the 
proponents and opponents.
  The Senate will be in order.
  The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about the 
comprehensive immigration reform bill we will begin debating later 
today and for the rest of the month.
  I thank my colleagues for voting yes on the motion to proceed, which 
will let us debate this very important bill which is critical to the 
future of our security, our economy, and our society. This overwhelming 
vote--a majority of both parties--starts this bill off on the right 
foot.
  First, I will begin by saying that this has been the most open and 
transparent process we have seen in the past few years. Unlike most 
bills where only 1 or 2 Senators draft them, this bill was drafted by 
10 of us here in the Senate.
  I thank each of the four Republicans and four Democrats in the Gang 
of 8--my seven colleagues in the gang--for their great work. The 
agricultural program in the bill was drafted by Senators Feinstein and 
Hatch. We then held a number of hearings where we debated, considered, 
voted on, and adopted scores of amendments during the Judiciary 
Committee markup under the able leadership of Chairman Leahy. Many of 
those amendments were bipartisan or were amendments offered solely by 
my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. These amendments 
dramatically improve the bill. Our bill is better and stronger today 
than it was when we introduced it.
  Before the bill was marked up, this bill had been vetted by the eight 
of us. Eighteen of us here in the Senate have already had the chance to 
make our mark on this bill and consider all of the ways in which it 
should be changed. Now we are here on the floor, where all of my 
colleagues will have the chance to further improve the bill and discuss 
the changes they feel need to be made. We readily admit this bill is 
not perfect and can always be improved. It is undergirded by one 
thought about the present situation and one about the future that we 
hope to change. In the present situation, our country--amazingly and 
counterproductively--turns away hundreds of thousands of people who 
will create jobs and improve our economy, and at the same time we let 
millions cross the border and take jobs away from American workers. The 
system is backward and the status quo is unacceptable.
  Our bill is based on one simple principle: that the American people 
will accept and embrace commonsense solutions to future legal 
immigration and to the 11 million now living here in the shadows if--
and only if--they are convinced there will not be future waves of 
illegal immigration.
  Our bill does three basic things. First, it ensures that we will 
never again have a wave of future illegal immigration. Second, it fixes 
our completely dysfunctional legal immigration system to make us the 
most competitive Nation in the world for both this century and the 
next. Third, it contains a tough but realistic path for making sure 
that the people currently here illegally are held accountable for what 
they did, but it also allows them to join American society on our terms 
in a fair and honorable way rather than by the current amnesty-by-
inaction we see today.
  I wish to make it extremely clear that, first and foremost, we are 
committed to ending the waves of illegal immigration we have seen in 
the last 30 years. We will accomplish this goal by building a very 
sturdy three-legged

[[Page S4087]]

stool of border security, employment verification, and entry-exit. I 
will now explain what our bill does in each of these areas to prevent 
future waves of illegal immigration.
  Make no mistake, our borders will be secured as a result of this 
bill. We appropriate $6.5 billion up front in this bill to bolster our 
security efforts, and that is in addition to the annual appropriations 
made for each year of border security.
  Before any legalization can even begin, the Secretary of Homeland 
Security is required to come up with a plan on how to deploy $4.5 
billion of those resources to acquire new infrastructure, technology, 
and personnel that will enable the border patrol to catch 9 out of 10 
illegal immigrants who attempt to cross our border. Only after this 
plan is presented to Congress and deployment of the resources has 
commenced may the legalization program begin to adjust undocumented 
individuals to registered provisional immigrant status--what we call 
RPI status. All of the resources in the plan must then be deployed on 
the ground and working before anyone in RPI status can ever be granted 
a green card and gain citizenship.
  After 5 years, if the Border Patrol is not catching 9 out of every 10 
illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the border, a commission with 
border State Governors and elected officials will be empowered to make 
recommendations on how best to spend an additional $2 billion that this 
bill has already preappropriated in order to achieve this 90-percent 
effectiveness rate.
  With minimal resources and with many fewer resources, we are more 
effective at the border. The effectiveness rate has gone up from 68 
percent to 82 percent. Imagine what will happen with the resources we 
provide in this bill, all of which is paid for by provisions in the 
bill, both fees for those who wish legal workers to come to work for 
them and fines for those who have crossed the border illegally. DHS 
will implement the recommendations of the commission after they have 
been presented to the Secretary.
  Think of this: Crossing the border without permission from the 
government is a crime. When we catch someone crossing the border and 
prosecute and deport them, we are solving the crime and punishing the 
criminal. Our bill will deploy the resources needed to catch, 
prosecute, and deport 90 percent of the people who cross the border 
illegally. Ninety percent of all border-crossing cases will be 
successfully closed. How does that closure rate compare to other 
violations of our laws? According to FBI statistics, each year we 
successfully catch, prosecute, and detain wrongdoers in less than 50 
percent of the cases where a violent crime has been committed and in 
less than 20 percent of the cases where a property crime has been 
committed. Think about the much higher standard our bill is creating 
for border security--90 percent. Everyone knows 90 percent is an A 
grade, and our bill will achieve an A-rated border.

  For days and weeks now I have heard Senators who would oppose any 
immigration bill. They say our bill does not secure the border, as if 
the $6.5 billion does not count. If anyone has a better idea, tell us. 
But to say this will not improve border security--some may disagree on 
whether it is the best way to do it or some may disagree on whether it 
does enough, but don't say it won't do anything to secure the border. 
History shows that of course it will. The eight of us believe it will 
do it well and do it strongly. It will do it far better than anything 
that has ever been envisioned.
  Now let's take a look at what we can purchase for this money.
  We are going to be building $1 billion worth of border fence. Our 
bill requires that it be built before anyone can get a green card. Our 
bill originally had $500 million more allocated for fencing, and the 
fencing money was actually decreased by the senior Senator from Texas, 
who thought we were building too much border fence in our bill.
  Second, we will be purchasing sensors, fixed towers, radar, and 
drones that will cover the entire southern border. When this technology 
is deployed, we will finally be able to see every single person 
crossing our border, and we will know where to send our 21,000 Border 
Patrol agents to go catch people.
  I visited the border with Senators McCain, Flake, and Bennet. It is 
huge. We cannot station enough people on the border. There are no roads 
on large parts of it. But with the drones, we can see every single 
person who crosses the border day or night, and we can follow their 
path, so they can be apprehended when they are 10, 20, 25 miles inland. 
It is a huge improvement. Simple math tells us we have more than one 
Border Patrol agent for every city block of the southern border. 
Imagine how low crime would be if we had a police officer on every 
block. Imagine, once we deploy this technology, how effective it will 
be.
  For those who say the American people do not trust the government to 
get the job done, I say let's look at the facts. Providing additional 
resources to DHS for border security has an incredibly proven track 
record of success. In 2010 Congress passed an emergency supplemental 
appropriations bill for border security. I worked on that with my 
colleague from Arizona, Senator McCain. It was $600 million. In 2009, 
according to the GAO, the national effective rate for the entire 
southern border was 72 percent. In 2011, a year after this was 
deployed, it went up to 82 percent.
  Again, saying this will not improve border security at all or saying 
there is no security at the border is not fair, and it is not right. I 
urge my colleagues not to say it. Again, some may disagree with how or 
disagree with how much, but there is a heck of a lot of border security 
in this bill.
  Most of the resources in the supplemental budget went to the Tucson 
border sector. In 2009 the effectiveness rate at the Tucson border 
sector was 71 percent. In 2011 it went up to 87 percent. Given that a 
mere $600 million supplemental appropriation was able to increase 
border security effectiveness from 72 percent to 82 percent, it is 
reasonable to assert that spending over 10 times that money on border 
security in the form of a $6.5 billion supplemental appropriation for 
personnel, infrastructure and technology will allow us to apprehend 9 
out of every 10 people who try to cross the southern border illegally.
  Second, visa overstays will be identified and apprehended when this 
bill passes. An estimated 40 percent of the 11 million people in 
unauthorized status are individuals who entered the United States 
legally but overstayed their visas. When a foreign national enters the 
country, he or she is fingerprinted and his or her passport or visa is 
electronically scanned against our data security databases. Amazingly, 
when this individual exits the country, no such scan occurs, leading to 
uncertain information as to who overstayed their visas. Forty percent 
of those who cross illegally do not cross the border; rather, they 
overstay their visas.
  For individuals who enter the United States by air or sea, we will 
require those individuals to swipe their machine-readable passport visa 
on an electric scanner at the gate immediately before exiting the 
United States. To prevent identity theft when the person swipes their 
visa or passport, their picture comes up on a screen at the gate. The 
gate agent who is given the passport has to match the picture on the 
screen with the person giving their passport. The exit information will 
be given to all of the Department of Homeland Security components to 
generate an accurate overstay list of people who entered the United 
States by air or sea. Persons on this list will be apprehended, 
detained, and deported by ICE.
  Persons entering the United States from the northern border will also 
be identified as exiting the country via the northern border when they 
are granted entry into Canada, and that is because the United States 
and Canada are willing to share entry information such that each 
country will be providing the other country with de facto exit 
information.
  There is criticism leveled by opponents of immigration reform that 
the exit system must be biometric in order to prevent visa overstays 
and that using passport or visa pictures instead of fingerprints will 
not work. Although this criticism is not justified because we will be 
using picture-matching to prevent identity theft, our bill phases in 
biometric exit capabilities at our largest airports. During the first 2 
years of enactment the bill will require the taking of biometrics for 
people

[[Page S4088]]

leaving the United States through the 10 largest international 
airports. It will go to 20 more in 6 years. If it works better than the 
photo-match system, we will phase in the print system nationwide. We 
believe the photo system is just as effective and much, much cheaper. 
Why do we need to spend billions more to achieve the same result?
  In any case, the key to our bill is that we will ensure, soon after 
passage--even as this biometric exit system is being deployed--we will 
be able to detect, detain, and deport individuals who enter the United 
States legally from Canada by airport or seaport and then overstay 
their visas.
  We also make the completion of this entry-exit system a trigger for 
the path to citizenship. The path to citizenship cannot happen unless 
this entry-exit system is deployed.
  Third, even if a small number of people are able to cross the border 
illegally or overstay their visa--neither system will be perfect--they 
will still not be able to find work legally in the United States due to 
our bill's mandatory employment verification system. Even if someone is 
able to get here illegally or overstays their visa, their main goal for 
being here--working--will be impossible after the bill is passed.
  That is why we have illegal immigration. The people who cross our 
borders are very poor people. Most of them are living in poverty and 
they want a job. They want some money. If they can send $10 a week home 
to their wife, father or children, they will cross the border to do it. 
But if they can't get jobs, they are not going to come.
  We have 11 million people here today, and we do not have a problem 
whereby these folks are besieging us with terrorist acts. They are 
simply here working and feeding their families.
  If we eliminate the jobs magnet, we will eliminate illegal 
immigration. Under this bill, every employer seeking to hire a worker 
must determine, using our employment verification system, whether that 
prospective employee is here legally and can work. If the prospective 
employee is either a noncitizen with work authorization, a U.S. citizen 
with a passport or a resident of a State that agrees to share a 
driver's license with DHS--and all 50 States now have driver's 
licenses--then the prospective employee will have to produce that form 
of identification to their employer that matches the photo pulled up on 
the E-Verify database in order to work legally. This will eliminate the 
identity theft problem that plagues the current E-Verify system.
  If the prospective employee is a U.S. citizen who does not have a 
passport or is not from a State that shares driver's licenses with DHS, 
then that individual--it is a very small number--will have to answer 
questions about their identity, generated randomly from their Social 
Security number, in order to prevent identity theft. Credit card 
companies have used this system to huge and positive effect.
  Employers who do not use E-Verify or who hire illegal workers will be 
given severe penalties and be jailed for repeated violations. I know 
many on the other side have wanted to make E-Verify mandatory and 
permanent. We have heard that for years. Now, all of a sudden when we 
do it, it is not good enough.
  Fourth, this bill also fundamentally alters the cost-benefit analysis 
for coming to the United States illegally by creating a new W visa 
worker program to encourage people to come here legally. Because of the 
bill's significantly enhanced border security, entry-exit, and 
employment verification, any person intending to come to the United 
States illegally will have to take great safety risks, at great 
personal and financial costs to come here. Once they are here, they 
will find there are no jobs available to support themselves.
  Alternatively, they can choose to come legally and work as part of 
our W visa work program that is created for individuals to work in jobs 
where employers cannot find American workers but only if they can't 
find them. Up to 200,000 visas a year will be made available for this 
purpose. We start with a program that can grow as our economy grows and 
creates more jobs and is flexibly related to the rate of unemployment.
  In addition, a new agricultural program will be set up to replace the 
previously illegal flow of agricultural workers. Given that the Census 
Bureau and the Pew Hispanic Center have estimated the illegal flow in 
past years to be around 400,000 people per year, there should be enough 
visas to meet any demand for additional workers that might exist.
  If more legal workers are needed, the newly formed Bureau of 
Immigration and Labor Market Research can provide additional visas to 
permit more workers to enter in occupations they find have shortages of 
workers.
  Given these new programs, it would no longer make any sense for 
intending illegal immigrants to spend tens of thousands of dollars and 
risk their lives to come here illegally. Illegal immigration will be a 
thing of the past.
  Fifth, the bill will protect American workers in four ways: Because 
of the new employment verification system Americans will no longer have 
to compete for jobs with unauthorized workers who can easily be 
exploited. I say to so many of my colleagues who are worried about 
this, I ride my bicycle around Brooklyn early in the morning. I see on 
various street corners congregating young men, mainly, and some guy on 
a truck comes over and says: I will give you $15 to work on roofing on 
a few houses I am building. I guarantee he doesn't say he will pay them 
$2 above minimum wage and give them an hour off for lunch. Those 
illegal immigrants are driving down the wage base, particularly in 
lower skilled places. That will end.
  Second, in the bill's legal worker programs, Americans must be 
recruited first before any foreign worker will be hired.
  In addition, all foreign workers will be required to be paid the same 
wage as an American would be paid for that job, meaning that a foreign 
worker will never be hired to undercut an American worker's wage.
  All foreign workers will be given portability to change employers if 
they don't like their current employment situation. This means 
employers will no longer choose foreign workers over American workers 
because they have more control over those workers.
  Finally, this is also a very fair bill--and we have, of course--I 
don't go into it here for lack of time--an H-1B system and a system 
that says if you are a foreigner who studies in an American college and 
gets an M.A. or Ph.D. in STEM--science, technology, engineering, and 
math--you will get a green card. These are the very people who in the 
past have created new companies and created tens of thousands, hundreds 
of thousands of new jobs in America. Now, if they want to come to 
America after they study here or stay in America, we send them away and 
they go to Canada and Australia. That would not happen anymore under 
this bill.

  Finally, it is a very fair bill for legal immigration and resolving 
the status of the people who are here. We create a system, as I 
mentioned, that allows America to attract and retain the best and 
brightest minds from around the world in science, math, finance, 
technology, the arts, and more, fundamental to maintaining America's 
preeminence in a an increasingly competitive global marketplace. We 
also provided a JOLT--J-O-L-T--to our travel industry by making it 
easier for foreign nationals to come to the United States and spend 
their lucrative vacation dollars here instead of somewhere else.
  Of great importance, and perhaps the dividing line between some in 
this Chamber and the rest of us, we give the 11 million people here a 
chance to come out of the shadows and earn a path to citizenship after 
spending 10 years on probation, working, keeping their nose clean, 
learning English and civics, and paying their taxes. It is a tough path 
to citizenship, but it is a fair path, and it is a path we make sure 
will happen, providing the specific metrics in our border security 
provisions are met.
  Our bill requires all of these important enforcement resources I have 
described to be put in place before we give the individuals a path to 
citizenship. We in the Group of 8 agree that is fair to ask. The 
Federal Government should have to put the resources in place that we 
promised, as necessary, to get the job done. That is entirely within 
our control and we will live up to our work. But by the same token, we 
will not leave these 11 million people in immigration limbo forever. It 
makes no sense to have people living here permanently who have not 
invested in America. This is the huge mistake Europe has made. We see 
the ill effects every day on the news of what happens in European 
countries that have not

[[Page S4089]]

integrated their immigrant populations. Those populations become 
affected by a sense of alienation, a lack of opportunity, a lack of 
upward mobility. That is not America. Here we give people the chance to 
be all they can be through their hard work. We want people here to be 
serving on juries, serving in the military, and saying to people that 
they are just as American as anybody else.
  In my city--the city in which I was raised and in which I live--there 
is that beautiful lady in the harbor with that bright torch. That has 
been America, and that lady has said through the centuries: If you come 
here and work hard, stay clear of the law, no matter who you are and 
what your economic level is, we welcome you. We want you to become an 
American.
  We are not going to take that away. That would be just as dramatic a 
change in this country we love so much as tearing up the Bill of 
Rights. It has been part and parcel, warp and woof, of America.
  To those who suggest having some secondary status, to those who say 
let's put into the bill an excuse so someone 3 years from now can say 
no one can become a citizen, we say: No. We have some basic principles 
we will not compromise and that is at the top of the list.
  In conclusion, I wish to send this message loudly and clearly to all 
who might be listening today. We are interested in compromises that 
will make this bill even stronger and more secure. Our group does not 
claim to have a monopoly on wisdom. We will hear out any of our 
colleagues from either side of the aisle who have good-faith 
suggestions on how to improve this bill.
  I have heard some say we should not consider any further changes to 
the bill and dare the other side to vote against it. I reject that 
approach. We are not interested in scoring a political victory to help 
one party; we are interested in passing a law that changes the awful 
status quo, solves the problem, and makes America an even greater and 
better place. Just because the process has been, to date, so 
encouraging does not mean we can take anything for granted. So we 
welcome constructive input from our colleagues and we want to work with 
them. But the one thing none of us will do is condition the path to 
citizenship on factors that may not ever happen in order to appear 
tough.
  We are committed to border security. We are committed to ending 
illegal immigration. But we are equally committed to allowing people 
the right to earn their way to become an American citizen if they work 
hard, play by the rules, learn English, and avoid criminality.
  Just as I believe to my core that border security should not be a 
bargaining chip, I also believe to my core that leaving people in 
immigration limbo, uninvested in America and its successes, is also 
something we should not do just to pass a bill. I commit in good faith 
to every one of my colleagues in this Chamber who wants to work with me 
to improve the bill that I am open to any ideas. But for those of my 
colleagues who will not support this legislation, I simply ask the 
question: How would you solve this problem? The answers are not simple. 
That is why it has taken us months to get to where we are today.

  This bill represents our best chance for a broad bipartisan 
compromise on a complex issue that we have had for decades.
  I hope all of us take this opportunity very seriously. I hope we all 
do what we can to show the American people that their lawmakers do 
still have the ability to solve difficult problems that affect every 
one of our daily lives.
  With that, I ask that my colleagues will agree to work with us in 
good faith to improve this bill and to give a resounding vote--from 
both sides of the aisle--of support for this bill when it comes to 
final passage.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, I very much want commonsense immigration 
reform to pass. This bill is going to pass the Senate. But, as written, 
this bill will not pass the House. As written, this bill will not pass 
into law. And if this bill did become law, it would not solve the 
problem--indeed, it would make the problem of illegal immigration that 
we have today worse rather than better.
  If you likewise want to see commonsense immigration reform pass, then 
you have reason to be both optimistic and pessimistic. You have reason 
for optimism because there is widespread bipartisan agreement on many 
aspects of immigration.
  Outside of Washington, DC, there is widespread bipartisan agreement 
that, No. 1, our current immigration system is broken, it is not 
working; No. 2, that we have to get serious about securing the borders, 
about doing everything we can to stop illegal immigration--that in a 
post-9/11 world it does not make any sense that we do not know who is 
coming into this country; we do not know their history; we do not know 
their background--and, No. 3, that we need to improve and streamline 
legal immigration, that we need to remain a Nation that does not just 
welcome but that celebrates legal immigration.
  On those basic principles there is widespread bipartisan agreement. 
If this body were to focus on those areas of bipartisan agreement, that 
is how we would get an immigration bill passed into law--not just by 
one Chamber of Congress but actually passed into law.
  The reason, however, for pessimism is that to date the conduct of the 
White House and the Senate Democrats, who have been driving this 
process, suggests they are more interested in finding a partisan issue 
to campaign on in 2014 and 2016 than in actually passing a bill to fix 
our broken immigration system.
  Of all of the issues swirling about this bill, the path to 
citizenship for those who are here illegally is the single most 
divisive issue; and that is the issue on which the Obama White House 
and the Senate Democrats insist. By insisting on that division, I 
believe they, by design, destine this bill to be voted down. I think if 
we do not end up fixing our immigration system, that would be a very 
unfortunate outcome.
  I would note in the Judiciary Committee we spent considerable time 
considering amendments to this bill. At the outset of the markup, I 
observed that I hoped it would be a real markup, that the majority had 
the votes, if they wanted, to reject every substantive amendment, but I 
very much hoped they would not, that they would be willing to work with 
the members of the committee to improve the bill to make it fix the 
problem.
  Sadly, at the end of the markup, I was forced to observe it had 
played out exactly as I feared it might at the beginning; namely, that 
the majority of Democrats on the committee voted down just about every 
single major substantive amendment that was presented, one after the 
other after the other. What they repeatedly said was there had been a 
deal that was cut--a deal that was cut with the union bosses, with the 
interest groups--and that deal could not be changed. Well, if that is 
the case, that deal is not going to get passed into law.
  In my view, this legislation has two major problems. The first is it 
does not fix the problem. In 1986, Congress passed major immigration 
reform--the last time we addressed and successfully passed immigration 
reform--and that bill had two major components: No. 1, it granted 
amnesty, explicit, full-out amnesty for some 3 million people who were 
then here illegally. The American people were told: This amnesty will 
be in exchange for securing the borders. In 1986 Congress told the 
American people: We are granting amnesty, but in exchange we will fix 
the problem so illegal immigration will go away as a problem. Once 
these 3 million get amnesty, there will be no more.
  Now, sadly, we are here some 30 years later and instead of 3 million 
there are roughly 11 million people here illegally. Because what 
happened in 1986 is the amnesty happened and the borders never got 
secured. If this bill were to pass into law, in 10, 20, 30 years we 
would be back here talking about another 10, 20, 30 million people here 
illegally. Because, like the 1986 bill, this bill will not fix the 
problem, and, indeed, it will exacerbate it.
  This bill is enormously complicated. Indeed, this bill, as currently 
written, is 1,076 pages--1,076 pages. It is longer than the Dodd-Frank 
bill, which was 848 pages. It is roughly half the size of ObamaCare, 
which was over 2,000 pages. In these 1,076 pages, there are, right now, 
over 1,000 waivers given to the

[[Page S4090]]

Secretary of Homeland Security and other members of the executive 
branch to waive law enforcement provisions, to waive border security, 
to give to the executive more standardless, unreviewable discretion. 
That, unfortunately, would only serve to exacerbate the problem.
  Illegal immigration is an enormous problem. It is an enormous problem 
in my home State of Texas, where I have spent real time down on the 
border visiting with ranchers, with farmers, with people living on the 
border, who every week have people coming illegally across their 
property, who no longer lock their doors at home because they have 
discovered if they lock their doors, they just get broken into. So it 
is simpler not to lock the doors rather than deal with the damage of 
the locks being broken or the doors kicked in.

  If you look at the numbers, in fiscal year 2012, the Border Patrol 
reported 463 deaths, 549 assaults, and 1,312 rescues.
  Let me point out, this current system is the opposite of humane. This 
current system ends up having vulnerable people coming here seeking 
freedom, entrusting themselves to coyotes, to drug cartels, to 
traffickers, and being left--sometimes women and children--to die in 
the desert, being left sometimes subject to sexual assault, to 
exploitation, to trafficking.
  The U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,000 to 17,000 people 
are trafficked into the United States every single year. And when it 
comes to the drug cartels and their role in facilitating illegal 
immigration, the volume is staggering. Between 2006 and 2013, there 
were 9.28 million pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and 
heroin seized in Texas alone. To put that in perspective, the space 
shuttle weighs about 4.5 million pounds, which means there was twice as 
much--two space shuttles' worth--of illegal-drugs-seized traffic across 
the border.
  But the second major failing of this bill: It is not likely to pass. 
There are not 218 votes in the House of Representatives to pass a 
pathway to citizenship. My friends on the Democratic side of the aisle 
know that, but I think they have made a political judgment that they 
want to campaign on this issue rather than rolling up their sleeves and 
saying: How do we actually get a bill that can pass into law? That is 
what I hope this body does.
  In the course of the markup, I worked very hard to try to improve 
this bill because I want to see a bill that fixes the problem passed 
into law. Specifically, I offered five amendments to fix the bill, to 
fix the problem. Those amendments were all voted down, with every 
Democrat on the committee voting against them.
  On the floor of the Senate, I hope to offer the same amendments. If 
they are voted down again, and this body passes that bill, I very much 
hope the House of Representatives will look to these amendments as 
providing a pathway to fixing this bill, to actually addressing the 
problem.
  The first amendment I offered was an amendment to actually secure the 
borders. The amendment I offered, unlike the current bill, which 
requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to prepare a plan--and the 
trigger is, when the Secretary prepares a plan, that triggers the 
legalization provisions of this bill. Well, a plan to plan is, by 
design, toothless. Instead, the amendment I offered would have tripled 
the size of the U.S. Border Patrol to put manpower on the ground, boots 
on the ground, to solve the problem. It would have increased fourfold 
the helicopters and fixed-wing assets and technology on the ground to 
solve the problem. It would have put in place a biometric entry-exit 
system because 40 percent of the illegal immigration we have comes from 
visa overstays.
  Unfortunately, every single Democrat on the committee voted against 
that amendment.
  I offered two amendments to improve and substantially increase legal 
immigration. On this point, let me pause for a second to note there is 
no more enthusiastic advocate of legal immigration in the Senate than I 
am. I am the son of an immigrant. I am the son of one who had been 
imprisoned and tortured in Cuba, who came to this country with nothing, 
seeking freedom, and we need to welcome and celebrate legal immigrants. 
So I offered two amendments focusing on improving legal immigration so 
we can continue to welcome those from all around the world coming here 
seeking freedom.
  First, I offered an amendment concerning temporary high-skilled 
worker H-1B visas. H-1B high-skilled worker visas are overwhelmingly 
progrowth. The economic data indicates that for every 100 H-1B high-
skilled workers who come into this country, 183 jobs are created for 
U.S. citizens. The amendment I offered would take the current cap of H-
1B visas, which is at 65,000, and increase it fivefold to 325,000. The 
current bill, the Gang of 8 bill, goes up to 110,000. That is a step in 
the right direction, but it does not go nearly far enough. There is far 
more demand than that.
  Right now, every year, we educate tens of thousands of foreign 
students at our universities. They get graduate degrees in mathematics, 
in engineering, in computer science. They get Ph.D.s, and then we send 
them back to their countries, where they start businesses there, they 
create businesses there, they create jobs there, and they compete 
against us. It makes absolutely no sense. I think we need to expand 
dramatically high-skilled workers, and my amendment would increase it 
fivefold.
  Every single Democrat on the committee voted against it.
  I would note that the proponents of the bill often find themselves in 
Silicon Valley telling our friends in the high-tech industry how they 
are champions for helping get more programmers, engineers, computer 
scientists into this country. Yet I note again every single Democrat on 
the Judiciary Committee voted against increasing H-1B high-skilled 
workers. We need to increase that cap.
  The second amendment I offered that would increase legal immigration 
would double the overall cap on legal immigration from 675,000--the 
current statutory cap--to 1.35 million per year so we can have a legal 
system that has employment-based immigration. When people have jobs, 
they can meet areas of need, whether in agriculture or elsewhere. And 
they can also come for family unification.
  I am sorry to say many of my friends on the left side of the aisle--
who often describe themselves as advocates of the Hispanic community, 
advocates of immigrants--every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee 
voted in party line against increasing legal immigration and against 
doubling the caps of legal immigration.
  Finally, I introduced two other amendments that were both directed at 
respecting and maintaining the rule of law. One amendment simply 
eliminated the pathway to citizenship. What it provided is those people 
who are here illegally shall not be eligible for citizenship.
  It is important to note that under the existing bill, if my amendment 
had been adopted, those who are here illegally would be eligible for 
what is called RPI status, a legal status, and, indeed, in time would 
be eligible for legal permanent residency.
  So the underlying bill gives legal status to the 11 million people 
who are here illegally. The amendment I introduced simply said there 
needs to be a consequence for having violated the law. It is unfair, in 
my opinion, to the millions of legal immigrants who followed the 
rules--who stayed in line, who stayed in their home country years or 
decades--to reward those who broke the law with a path to citizenship. 
I believe it is also critical to passing this bill to remove the path 
to citizenship, and yet every single Democrat on the committee voted 
party line against this amendment.
  The final amendment I introduced was an amendment that provided that 
those who are here illegally shall not be eligible for State, local, or 
Federal means-tested welfare payments. This is an interesting issue 
because the advocates of the Gang of 8 bill frequently go on television 
and tell the American people: None of those granted amnesty in their 
bill will be given welfare. I have seen that. That is a central talking 
point.
  If that talking point were true, this should have been a very easy 
amendment to adopt. Yet every single Democrat on the committee voted 
against this amendment. One of the reasons is, although the Gang of 8 
bill for a period exempts those here illegally from Federal welfare, 
roughly $300 billion a year is spent in State welfare, and those

[[Page S4091]]

given amnesty under this bill would be eligible for a great portion of 
that State welfare immediately, means-tested welfare.
  In my view we should welcome people from across the world, but the 
people we should be welcoming are those who are coming here to seek the 
American dream, to work hard. I believe that is the vast majority of 
immigrants who are coming here for a better life. We should not be 
putting into place systems where the hard-working American taxpayers 
are being taxed to provide welfare for those who are here illegally. I 
think that respects the rule of law to say we will welcome you here if 
you are working to provide for your family.
  Each of those amendments was rejected. Often my friends on the 
Democratic side of the aisle would say something like: I may agree with 
this particular amendment, but there was a deal cut. I may agree, but 
the union bosses, the special interests, the people in the closed-door 
rooms who negotiated this deal, we agreed on a level and we cannot 
increase it. It may be good to increase high-skilled workers to 
325,000, but we cut a deal with the union bosses and we cannot change 
it.
  That is not how legislation should be drafted. We should be fixing 
the problem. We should be making our economy stronger. Right now, in my 
opinion, this bill is headed for failure. There should be no drama. 
There should be no confusion.
  Let's be clear. This bill, I am convinced, is going to pass the 
Senate. In fact, I think it is going to pass the Senate with a 
substantial margin. In all likelihood, near the end of this process 
there will be an amendment or two directed at border security that the 
American people will be told: OK, this finally puts teeth into the 
border security provisions.
  I hope those representations prove true.
  Regardless of what happens on that, I believe the votes are already 
precooked that this bill is going to pass the Senate. Absent major 
revisions, absent revisions along the lines of the amendments I 
introduced in committee and intend to introduce on the floor again, 
this bill will crash and burn in the House. It is designed to do so. So 
how do we save it? If we actually want to fix the problem, not have a 
political game but fix the problem, the answer is the American people. 
The American people have to speak. If you want to see the border 
secured, pick up the phone and let your elected Representative know. 
Let Senators know, let Members of the House know. Speak out online, 
speak out publicly. When the American people speak out and speak out 
loudly, their voices are heard.
  If you want legal immigration improved so that we welcome high-
skilled workers, we welcome those seeking the American dream, speak 
out. If you want to respect the rule of law and not grant amnesty 
without securing the borders, speak out and speak out loud. Let me say, 
what needs to happen to change this dynamic is the key stakeholders 
need to decide that failure is not an option. The high-tech community, 
the business community, farmers and agricultural leaders need to decide 
that they are not willing to have this entire bill held hostage to a 
provision providing a pathway to citizenship that is certain to fail 
and designed to fail.
  I want to speak finally to the Hispanic advocacy groups, to the many 
who passionately pour their hearts into trying to improve the 
conditions of those in this country, including the 11 million who are 
here illegally. I believe the current path this bill is on is a path 
that is, by design, going to yield it to being voted down. I think that 
is why the Obama White House is insisting on a pathway to citizenship.
  I would note in 2007 then-Senator Obama stood on the floor of this 
Senate and played a key role in killing immigration reform then for the 
same reasons, for partisan reasons. Indeed, I would suggest a moment of 
clarity came in the Judiciary Committee markup when a senior Democrat, 
who is one of the sponsors of this bill, said: If there is no path to 
citizenship, there can be no reform.
  I think that sentence summed it up. I certainly thank that senior 
Democrat for his candor because he made clear there was one 
overwhelming partisan objective, which is a path to citizenship. In his 
judgment, if that partisan objective could not be accomplished 100 
percent, he was willing to do nothing, zero, to improve the border. He 
was willing to do nothing, zero, to improve legal immigration--nothing, 
zero, to expand high-tech immigration; nothing, zero, to improve 
farmers and agricultural workers; and most telling, nothing, zero, to 
improve the condition of the 11 million people currently here illegally 
because, based on the Obama White House position that with no path to 
citizenship we will take our marbles and go home, we will crater this 
entire bill. That outcome means those 11 million remain in the shadows, 
have no legal status. Whereas, if the proponents of this bill actually 
demonstrate a commitment not to politics, not to campaigning all the 
time, but to actually fixing this problem, to finding a middle ground, 
that would fix the problem and also allow for those 11 million people 
who are here illegally a legal status with citizenship off the table.
  I believe that is the compromise that can pass. But, at least right 
now, the partisan advocates of this bill are not willing to accept 
that. The only thing that can change that is if the American people 
speak out. The only thing that can change that is if the stakeholders 
make clear to the Obama White House, to the Senate Democrats, failure 
is not an option; that if this fails, because as a political matter you 
insisted on a path to citizenship and threw everything else overboard, 
that failure would be unacceptable.
  I very much hope we work together in a bipartisan manner to fix this 
problem in a way that secures the border, in a way that respects the 
rule of law, and in a way that improves legal immigration so we remain 
a nation that welcomes and celebrates legal immigrants.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I have a more robust statement that I 
intend to make later. But since I understand the time is truncated, I 
will wait for that because I am not going to equivocate on something 
that I feel passionately about and something that I have worked on a 
long time as part of the Gang of 8 to achieve. So, hopefully, I will 
get to that later today.
  I did want to take advantage of the time that is available to just 
create a certain context having just heard from my colleague from 
Texas. I am glad he acknowledges this bill will pass the Senate. I 
believe the bill will pass the Senate because the American people are 
tired of a broken immigration system that neither meets our values, 
preserves our security, or promotes our economy. That is what is 
driving the American people in poll after poll and saying it is time to 
fix our broken system.
  Now, I have heard the comments about this bill will pass the Senate, 
but it will not pass the House. Well, having served in the House, I am 
not quite sure anybody can make that determination. Part of it will be 
what leadership wants to achieve in the House and what it does not seek 
to achieve.
  I would not negotiate against myself, against a process in the House 
which I am unaware of at this moment of exactly how they are going to 
pursue it. So why would I seek to diminish the Senate's prerogative to 
send what they think is the appropriate reform on immigration to the 
House for their consideration. I would not want to do that. That is 
what conferences are all about.
  So if the House has a different view as to how we reform our broken 
immigration system, has a different view as to how we ensure the 
national security of the United States, has a different view as to how 
we promote the economic interests that immigration reform does promote, 
has a different view as to how we ensure that workers' wages are not 
suppressed by having an underclass of millions of people who are 
exploited and therefore bringing down the wages of all other American 
workers, fine. Let them express their view and then we can come 
together in a conference and negotiate what hopefully can be a final 
version to be sent to the President.
  I find it ironic that my colleague from Texas consistently refers to 
Senate Democrats insisting on a pathway to citizenship. I assume he 
takes the mantle of the Republican Party and says all Republicans 
believe there should be no pathway to citizenship. That, obviously, is 
rejected by the four

[[Page S4092]]

colleagues who worked with me for months: Senator McCain, Senator 
Graham, Senator Flake, and Senator Rubio, who believe a pathway to 
citizenship is an important ingredient toward achieving the 
comprehensive reform we all want, as well as others who have expressed 
support for that concept.
  I know it may be popular with some of my colleagues to invoke 
President Obama's name as some type of red herring in this process. The 
bottom line is the bill we are debating, or I hope we will be debating 
after the motion to proceed shortly, is about finding the fixes to our 
broken immigration system that was devised by four Democrats and four 
Republicans and has since been supported by more. So it is not about 
President Obama. It is about getting the Senate to function and to 
solve one of the critical issues facing this country.
  I heard the suggestion that only Senate Democrats got amendments they 
wanted and they opposed amendments of Republicans in the Judiciary 
Committee. My understanding is that there were 136 amendments adopted 
in the Judiciary Committee, of which all but three were bipartisan 
amendments or Republican-sponsored amendments. So I respect that the 
Senator had amendments and maybe his view did not prevail, but it is 
not true that there was not a bipartisan process that led to 136 
amendments to the original proposition of the Gang of 8 put forward in 
order to be able to move forward. As a matter of fact, I think some of 
those who have opposed and still oppose comprehensive immigration 
reform--I know there are some that if 10 angels came swearing from 
above that this would be the right policy for America, they would say, 
no, you are wrong to the 10 angels.
  I get it. I understand where they are, but the process held in the 
Judiciary Committee was about as open, transparent, and fair as you 
could have. That is why there are 136 changes to our proposal by virtue 
of the Judiciary Committee.
  Finally, this reference to union bosses. I don't know any union 
bosses who were in any room. As a matter of fact, part of the 
compromise is that labor didn't get everything it wanted, neither did 
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But they both agreed, and they were 
standing behind us when we announced this legislation, in saying this 
is good for America.
  Big business, the AFL-CIO, United Farm Workers with the big agro 
growers in this country, the most progressive pro-immigrant groups with 
Grover Norquist and the Americans for Tax Reform, all say this 
legislation is what is important and necessary for America.
  Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but you are not entitled to 
your own facts. I expect, during the course of this debate, to make 
sure that at least when we are debating, we are debating the same 
facts.
  This legislation is good for our country. It will reform our broken 
immigration system. It will let me know who is here to pursue the 
American dream versus who might be here to do it harm. It will create 
economic opportunity for all Americans. It will add more taxpayers to 
the rolls of this country so there can be true, shared burden at the 
end of the day. It will create greater enterprise, as is exhibited by 
the high-tech companies, of which so many have been created by 
immigrants in this country.
  I look forward to a fuller opportunity to present all of the reasons 
why this legislation, including tough border security provisions, more 
than ever before, more money spent than ever before--that this, in 
fact, will be spent in an intelligent way and in a way that ultimately, 
cumulatively, creates for border security more money than we are 
spending in domestic law enforcement as a whole.
  I look forward to that opportunity.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise to talk about four claims this 
bill makes, these four claims that are on the chart, to disprove those 
claims under certain circumstances.
  Before I do that, everybody who has spoken so far has said we have to 
pass a bill. I don't disagree with that but not just any bill. A bill 
that secures the border is very necessary. The status quo is not 
justifiable. We have to realize the reality of the fact that we can't 
gather 11 or 12 million people to deport, and if we did that, we would 
hurt the economy. That is the reality.
  To get around that, we have to get a bill that gets through the 
Senate, the House of Representatives, and that the President approves.
  My main goal throughout these next 2 or 3 weeks is to develop a bill 
that accomplishes that but to stress that a lot of things that have 
been said by the authors of this legislation are not accurate. I will 
take a few minutes to discuss how the authors have tried to sell the 
immigration bill and what I see as false advertising.
  Legislators are in the business of selling ideas. With this bill, the 
American people are being sold a product. They are being asked to 
accept legalization and, in exchange, they would be assured through 
this legislation that the laws are going to be enforced.
  Normally consumers are able to read the labels of things they are 
about to purchase. They would have to read about 1,175 pages of this 
bill to know what it truly says. Even a quick read of the bill would 
leave many shaking their heads in confusion.
  You have heard the phrase, ``The devil is in the details.'' At first 
the proposal that the bipartisan group put forward sounded very 
reasonable, but we need to examine the fine print and take a closer 
look at what the bill does.
  As I noted yesterday, I thought the framework; that is, when they 
started working on it, held hope. I realized the assurances the Gang of 
8 made didn't translate when the bill language emerged.
  They professed that the border would be secured and that people would 
earn their legal status. However, the bill, as drafted, is legalization 
first, enforcement later, if at all.
  I would like to dive into the details and give a little reality check 
to those who expect this bill to do exactly as the authors promise. 
What do the proponents of this bill say the legislation will do?
  The first thing on my chart is, ``People will have to pay a penalty'' 
to obtain legal status.
  The bill lays out the application procedure. On page 972, a penalty 
is imposed on those who apply for registered provisional immigration 
status. It says that those who apply must pay $1,000 to the Department 
of Homeland Security. It waives the penalty for anyone under 21 years. 
Yet on the next page it allows the applicant to pay the penalty in 
installments. The bill says:

       The Secretary shall establish a process for collecting 
     payments . . . that permit the penalty to be paid in periodic 
     installments that shall be completed before the alien may be 
     granted an extension of status.

  In effect, this says the applicant has 6 years to pay the $1,000. 
That is how long it takes to get RPI status. In addition to the 
penalty, applicants would pay a processing fee, a level set by the 
Secretary.
  The bill says the Secretary has the discretion to waive the 
processing fee for any classes of individuals that she chooses and may 
limit the maximum fee paid by a family.
  The fact is, the bill doesn't actually require everyone to pay a 
penalty. In view of the waiver, it doesn't require anyone to pay it 
when they apply for legal status. In fact, they may never have to pay a 
penalty.
  Let's go to No. 2 on the chart. ``People will have to pay back 
taxes'' to receive legal status. In reality, members of the Gang of 8 
stated over and over that their bill would require undocumented 
individuals to pay back taxes prior to being granted legal status. 
However, the bill before us fails to make good on the promise. 
Proponents of the bill point to a provision in the bill that prohibits 
people from filing for legal status ``unless the applicant has 
satisfied any applicable Federal tax liability.''

  It sounds good, right? As always, the devil is in the details. There 
are two important weaknesses with how the bill defines ``applicable 
Federal tax liability.''
  First, the bill limits the definition to exclude employer taxes, 
Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes. Think of that exclusion.
  Second, the bill does not require the payment of all back taxes 
legally owed. What it requires is a payment of taxes assessed by the 
Internal Revenue Service. Think of the IRS assessing. In

[[Page S4093]]

order to assess a tax, the IRS first must have information on which to 
base this assessment. Our tax system is largely a voluntary system on 
self-reporting. It also relies on certain third-party reporting, such 
as wages reported by the employer; that is, the W-2 form.
  If someone has been working unlawfully in the country and working off 
the books, it is likely that neither an individual return or third-
party return will exist. Thus, no assessment will exist and no taxes 
will be paid.
  Similarly, it is very unlikely that an assessment will exist for 
those who have worked under false Social Security numbers and never 
paid a tax. A legal obligation exists to pay taxes on all income from 
whatever sources derived. Nothing in this bill provides a requirement 
or a mechanism to accomplish this prior to granting legal status.
  One of the gang members in January said this:

       Shouldn't citizens pay back taxes? We can trace their 
     employment back. It doesn't take a genius.

  While it may seem common sense, the other side of the aisle is going 
to argue that establishing the requirement to pay back taxes owed, 
rather than assessed, is unworkable and costly. They will also claim 
that imposing additional tax barriers on this population could prevent 
undocumented workers and their families from coming forward.
  The sales pitch has been clear. To get legal status, one has to pay 
back taxes. Let me provide a reality check. The bill doesn't make good 
on the promises made.
  Third, they say people will have to learn English. In reality, the 
bill as drafted is supposed to ensure that new Americans speak a common 
language. Learning English is a way new residents assimilate. This is 
an issue that is very important. Immigrants before us made a concerted 
effort to learn English. The proponents are claiming the bill fulfills 
this wish.
  However, the bill does not require people here unlawfully to learn 
English before receiving legal status or even a green card. Under 
section 2101, a person with RPI status who applies for a green card 
only has to pursue a course of study to achieve an understanding of 
English and knowledge and understanding of civics.
  If the people who gain legal access ever apply for citizenship--and 
some doubt this will happen to a majority of the undocumented 
population--they would have to pass an English proficiency exam as 
required under current law. Yes, after 13 years one would have to pass 
an exam, but the bill does very little to ensure that those who come 
out of the shadows will cherish or use an English language. The reality 
is that English isn't as much of a priority for the proponents of the 
bill as much as they claim it is.
  Fourth and last, they say, ``People won't get public benefits'' when 
they choose to apply for legal status. The reality is Americans are 
very compassionate and generous. Many people can understand providing 
some legal status to people here illegally. One major sticking point, 
for those who question a legalization program, is the fact that 
lawbreakers could become eligible for public benefits and taxpayer 
subsidies.
  The authors of the bill understood this, thank God. In an attempt to 
show that those who receive RPI status would not receive taxpayers' 
benefits, they included a provision that prohibited the population from 
receiving certain benefits. There are two major problems with the bill 
on this point.
  First, those who receive RPI status will be immediately eligible for 
State and local welfare benefits. For instance, many States offer cash, 
medical, and food assistance through State-only programs to lawfully 
present citizens.
  Second, the bill contains a welfare waiver loophole that could allow 
those with RPI status to receive Federal welfare dollars. The Obama 
administration has pushed the envelope by waiving welfare laws. If this 
loophole isn't closed, they could waive existing laws and allow funds 
provided under the welfare block grant, known as Temporary Assistance 
to Needy Families, to be provided to noncitizens.
  Senator Hatch had an amendment during committee markup that would 
prohibit U.S. Department of HHS from waiving certain requirements of 
the TANF Program. His amendment would also prohibit any Federal agency 
from waiving restriction on eligibility of immigrants for public 
benefits.
  The reality check for the American people is that there are loopholes 
and the potential for public benefits to go to those who are legalized 
under the bill.
  Again, the devil is in the details. I hope this reality check will 
encourage proponents of the bill to fix these problems before the bill 
is passed in the Senate.
  The American people deserve truth in advertising. We can't maintain 
the status quo on immigration. A bill should pass, but the bill that 
passes should actually do what the authors say it will do. I have tried 
to point out some of the promises that may not be kept.
  Authorized waivers in this bill--and I have used that word a few 
times--delegate to the Secretary to actually take action contrary to 
what is claimed by the authors and, hence, can undercut the intentions 
of the authors. We should legislate then and not delegate.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is on 
agreeing to the motion to proceed to S. 744.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 84, nays 15, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 147 Leg.]

                                YEAS--84

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Boxer
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Chambliss
     Chiesa
     Coats
     Coburn
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cowan
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Paul
     Portman
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Rockefeller
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                                NAYS--15

     Barrasso
     Boozman
     Cochran
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Inhofe
     Kirk
     Lee
     Risch
     Roberts
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--1

      
     McCain
       
  The motion was agreed to.

                          ____________________