By Houston Chronicle
Sen. John Cornyn does not stand alone in his attempts to strengthen the border security provisions in the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Three other members of the Texas congressional delegation –
Flores said the bill is a “check on the executive branch” in that it prevents Department of Homeland Security bureaucrats from being able to “self-certify” their commitment to border security. He added that border security provisions in the current bill up for debate in the Senate are “worse than 1986? — the date of the last immigration overhaul that implemented a dysfunctional entry/exit system.
“Washington bureaucrats have falsely preached that the border is secure for years,” said
The Act creates a $10 million dollar grant program to subsidize border security infrastructure, which will be offset by a cut in a federal forestry program. Veterans would be given priority for hire as border patrol officers. Smith said that it also “puts teeth” into existing entry/exit systems to prevent visa overstays.
Poe said in an interview that his office has closely collaborated with Cornyn’s office on the issue of immigration for “a long time.” He said the SMART Act is meant to work “in tandem” with Cornyn’s RESULTS amendment with a strategy of passing both pieces of legislation.
Indeed, the SMART Act is nearly identical to Cornyn’s RESULTS amendment, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to achieve full operational control of the country’s Southwest border with a 90 percent apprehension rate of undocumented migrants and enforce a biometric entry/exit system that prevents visa overstays.
The RESULTS amendment has not yet been finalized and formally introduced to Congress, but it has come under fire from Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid as a “poison pill” that threatened to dismantle the entire debate.
Poe, however, did not associate himself with the partisan immigration battle currently playing out in the Senate. He also said his proposal was “independent of that working group” of bipartisan House members who are trying to craft a comprehensive package.