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Crapo, Risch Oppose Closing Debate on Immigration Reform Bill

Bill needs further improvementâ??especially on border security

Washington, D.C. -The U.S. Senate has been debating and amending S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, or the Immigration Reform bill.  Today, the U.S. Senate held a Cloture vote to close off debate and move the bill toward final passage.  Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch opposed closing debate. 

"Comprehensive immigration reform is not something that the Senate should rush through," Crapo said.  "We need to reform our immigration policies, but I cannot support this bill as it stands. It is disappointing that certain amendments were blocked from consideration and the Majority Leader chose to file Cloture, cutting off any further debate.  Specifically, the triggers in this bill with regard to border security are not strong enough.  I co-sponsored an amendment offered by my colleague from Texas, Senator John Cornyn, that would clearly define benchmarks that need to be met to effectively secure the border.  This amendment was tabled and not allowed an up-or-down vote.  Meeting border security requirements before any conference of status or legalization is granted is essential.  Congress failed to reform our immigration system in 1986, and unfortunately, this bill is on a fast track to repeat the very same mistakes."

"Our country needs immigration reform.  There are several items that the majority of Americans agree can be fixed.  However, this legislation on immigration reform is just a political Band-Aid that does nothing to solve the long-term problem of illegal immigration and it commits U.S. taxpayers to turn over their hard-earned money to someone who is not a citizen.  This bill clearly overreaches and I cannot support it," Risch said.

Cloture was invoked on the bill 68-32.  A vote on final passage is expected later today.