Senate Judiciary Committee Markup

On 5/29/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee released an updated version of S.744 reflecting the changes made by the amendments during markup.”

On 5/21/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee held Day Five of the markup on S. 744. By the end of the evening, the Committee successfully voted the final bill as amended to the floor of the Senate on a 13-5 vote. The ten Democrats on the committee were joined by the two Republicans from the "Gang of Eight" (Senators Graham (SC) and Flake (AZ), and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (UT). The legislation survived the entire markup process with most of its major provisions in place as the four Senators representing the "Gang of Eight" on the committee stuck to their commitment to resist any changes to the core provisions of the bill.

On 5/20/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee held Day Four of the markup on S. 744. The committee finished debating Title III of the bill pertaining to interior enforcement and moved to Title II, legalization and the immigration system. In total the committee passed 30 amendments, out of a total 50 amendments considered (although some of those were withdrawn with no actual votes). This was by the far the most contentious day of markup to date with five amendments offered by Sen. Grassley (R-IA), two by Sen. Sessions (R-AL) and one by Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) failing on strictly party line votes (8-10). Four amendments were defeated when the two Republican members of the "Gang of Eight" joined the ten Democrats on the committee in voting no--three dealt with limiting eligibility for RPI status and one with the one year asylum filing deadline.

On 5/16/2013 the Senate Judiciary Committee held Day Three of the markup on S. 744. The committee first finished four remaining amendments (all passed by voice vote) on Title IV before turning to the E-Verify section of Title III, where they passed seven out of 11 amendments offered. Over half of the amendments on E-Verify were offered by Senator Grassley, everything from delaying the preemption of State and local laws until E-Verify is nationally mandated, to requiring an 18 month implementation deadline for businesses to implement E-Verify nationally to protecting children from identity theft.

On 5/14/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee held Day Two of the markup on S. 744 and completed most of the debate on Title IV of the bill (nonimmigrant visa provisions). 15 amendments were passed with majority support (out of the 25 votes taken). All but one of the amendments that passed did so with broad bipartisan support on voice votes. The "Gang of Eight" continued to stay committed to the core provisions of the bill, with the two Republican Committee members of the "Gang of Eight" (Flake (AZ) and Graham (SC)) joining all ten Democrats to vote no on two amendments offered by Senator Sessions that tie certain provisions of the bill to the successful implementation of a biometric entry/exit system. Negotiations are still currently ongoing between Senator Hatch and the "Gang of Eight" to include some of his amendments (#10-17) in the final version of the bill.

On 05/09/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee held the first day of markup on S. 744. The first day of mark-up demonstrated that the four Senators from the "Gang of Eight" on the committee (Senators Graham (R-SC), Flake (R-AZ), Schumer (D-NY) and Durbin (D-IL)) are committed to continuing the spirit of bipartisan compromise that produced the original bill. Many of the most extreme border security amendments, including ones that would double or triple spending on border security, tie legalization to unrealistic and arbitrary border security goals, and eliminate protections for civil rights, were defeated on bipartisan votes, with all four members of the Gang of Eight voting against. Two amendments offered by Senator Grassley in regards to the border were adopted with bipartisan support. One required the DHS Secretary to submit a plan to obtain 90% control of all sectors of the Southern border (not just the three high risk sectors). In total 32 amendments were offered, and 21 were accepted (20 with bipartisan support). At the end of the markup day Chairman Leahy (D-VT) announced that Title I (border security) is now closed.

On 05/07/13 300 amendments were filed to S. 744 by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. AILA and AIC have compiled a comprehensive list of the amendments filed, the stated purpose and the issue area covered (by Senator).

On 5/06/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee began posting committee member amendments to the bill on the website.

On 4/30/13, a Sponsors’ Amendment substituting S.744 was posted.

On 4/16/13, the Senate "Gang of Eight" introduced S. 744, the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act."

Summary of Senate Judiciary Committee Markup

(See each page for highlights from each day of markup)

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13060500.