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Cornyn successful in securing critical border security funding

Senate Democrats reverse objection and agree to cornyn provision to enforce immigration laws

From the Office of Senator John Cornyn

August 1, 2007

Government - Senator Cornyn pictureWASHINGTON—In an overwhelming vote, the U.S. Senate July 25 passed an amendment offered by Senate Republicans to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill which would provide $3 billion in emergency funding for border security. Importantly, the amendment also includes a provision drafted by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn to allow this money to be used for enforcing America ’s immigration laws, including electronic employment verification improvements and the increased removal and detention of visa overstays.

Sen. Cornyn, the top Republican on the Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee, said, “Addressing the problem of illegal immigration shouldn’t stop at our borders. We need to restore the confidence of the American people that the federal government is committed to enforcing our immigration laws. This funding will not only put more boots on the ground at our borders but it will also provide additional resources for law enforcement to remove dangerous felons who are here illegally. This is an important, bipartisan step forward to strengthening America ’s security. I’m pleased my colleagues in both parties agreed to this important amendment.”

The amendment would provide emergency funding of $3 billion for:

  • Hiring 500 more Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers per year (FY08-12), 1200 more Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents per year, 200 investigators to combat aliens smuggling, 50 Deputy U.S. Marshals;
  • 23,000 Border Patrol agents hired, trained, and reporting for duty;
  • 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & 105 ground-based radar and camera towers;
  • A permanent end to the “catch-and-release” policy with 45,000 detention beds;
  • Operational control over 100% of the U.S.-Mexico land border;
  • To allow DHS to present a photo electronically to an employer so that the employer may confirm the identity of the individual when he presents ID;
  • To require mandatory detention of aliens who overstay their visa by 60 days;
  • To reimburse local governments that choose to cooperate with ICE in enforcing the immigration laws (INA 287g).

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

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