Immigration Enforcement

Congress Extends E-Verify for Six Months

On Saturday, September 27th, Congress completed work on H.R. 2638, a continuing resolution (CR) that contained a short-term reauthorization of E-Verify, extending the program until March 6, 2009. This leaves the program vulnerable to a new administration and a new Congress using it as a bargaining chip in attempts to pass amnesty for illegal aliens. The Senate passed this stop-gap spending bill on Saturday on a 78-12 vote, while the House had passed it earlier in the week by a 370-58 vote. The CR is designed to fund government operations until Congress reconvenes after the first of the year.

As of Monday morning, the Senate had failed to take up H.R. 6633, a five year reauthorization of E-Verify that had passed the House on July 31st by a 407-2 vote. For months, E-Verify has been placed on hold in the Senate by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) unless the Senate would agree to include two controversial provisions which would “recapture” visas that went un-issued between 1992 and 2007, adding an estimated 570,000 extra visas to the immigration system. (See, FAIR Legislative Update, September 22, 2008)

The CR also continues government operations at 2008 levels, and provides $600 billion in fiscal 2009 spending for the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. (Roll Call Gallery Watch, September 27, 2008)

In addition to the short extension of E-Verify, the CR contains funding for the program through fiscal year 2009 at $100 million. (H.R. 2638, Title 4)

The bill also provides $9.82 billion for Customs and Border Protection, which is $334 million above the President’s request and $398 million above the 2008 spending level. This includes:

  • 2,200 new Border Patrol agents
  • $775 million, for Border Security, Infrastructure and Technology

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is funded at $4.99 billion, $254 million above 2008 and $241 million above the President’s request, including:

  • $1 billion to identify dangerous criminal aliens and prioritize these individuals for removal once an immigration judge orders them deported
  • State and local immigration enforcement programs that are funded at $99.7 million, $2.2 million more than requested. The 287(g) program to assist and train local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws and coordinate with ICE, is funded at $54 million, $14 million above 2008 and equal to the request. (U.S. House Appropriations Committee DHS Summary)

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September 29, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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