Immigration Enforcement Bill Debated In The House Of Representatives 12/15/2005

581 words - 2 pages

On December 6, 2005, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) introduced the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437). The bill contains a wide range of border and interior enforcement provisions, including mandating the use of an electronic verification system for new hires and existing employees, criminalizing unlawful presence and other immigration status violations, and enhancing technology at the border. The provisions are discussed in greater detail below. The Committee held a "markup" (i.e. it considered the bill) on December 8, 2005 and reported the bill favorably, by a 23-15 vote. The House of Representatives is expected to debate and vote on the bill today or tomorrow. As of this writing, the House Rules Committee has received at least 128 amendments to H.R. 4437, 16 of which will be given time for debate on the Floor.Over the past several weeks, House Leadership and the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee have expressed a desire to address the issue of immigration enforcement before considering any guest worker proposals. Opponents to this approach have stated that the U.S. needs a comprehensive reform of its immigration system, and enforcement alone will not solve the problem of illegal migration. H.R. 4437's fast-paced movement through the legislative process is a reflection of the position of House Leadership and the Judiciary Committee.Employer Sanctions/Worksite EnforcementH.R. 4437, Title VII proposes a new electronic employment verification system that is very similar to the current Basic Pilot program. Title VII would mandate, two years after enactment of the new system, that an employer query the system for confirmation of employment eligibility within three days of hiring a...

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