Justice for Victims of Trafficking (JVTA)

April 22, 2015

The Senate passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) with a vote of 99-0. Republican leaders encouraged party conservatives to hold back on offering immigration-related amendments. In response to questioning on why Sen. Jeff Sessions pulled back his immigration-related amendment he stated, "I yielded to higher authorities against my better judgment. ... We ended up with no immigration amendments. They wanted another bipartisan accomplishment and it wouldn't have achieved it." This vote also paves the way for a vote on Lynch's nomination, potentially as early as Thursday.

April 21, 2015

The Senate reached agreement that proposed immigration amendments will NOT be included in the list of Amendments to S.178, the anti-human trafficking bill that has stalled the confirmation vote for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. Four Senators-Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Sen. Thom Thillis (R-FL)-had proposed amendments that would have restricted constitutional birthright citizenship, eliminated protections for unaccompanied children, and granted DHS broad power to detain non-citizens for prolonged periods, among other harmful measures. Prior to reaching an agreement, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) had urged his Republican colleagues not to "destroy this human-trafficking legislation that is so important." The Senate is scheduled to hold Lynch's confirmation vote on Thursday. This is a huge win for the immigration community!

Five immigration-related amendments:

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15042231.