What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Immigration Law Reform : S Con Res 70. (Fiscal 2009 budget resolution) Sessions of Alabama amendment that would allow for an increase in border security and immigration enforcement/On agreeing to the amendment (2008 senate Roll Call 60)
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S Con Res 70. (Fiscal 2009 budget resolution) Sessions of Alabama amendment that would allow for an increase in border security and immigration enforcement/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 60     Mar 13, 2008
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

This vote was on an amendment by Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that would adjust the budget resolution to allow for an increase in border security and immigration enforcement, including an expansion to the zero tolerance prosecution policy for illegal entry, completing the 700-mile border fence and deployment National Guard members to the southern border.  The amendment was offered as a counterpoint to one offered (and approved) earlier by Robert Menendez, D-N.J., that was narrower in scope and focused more on cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and less on the immigrants themselves.

Sessions said his amendment would “move us toward a lawful system of immigration.”

Menendez said Sessions’ amendment fails to cut to the heart of the problem:  employers who continue to provide jobs to illegal immigrants with no penalties.  “We succeeded in passing an amendment that is going to be tough and smart and deal with the heart of the matter—employers who illegally hire people. It will make sure they get sanctioned.”

By a vote of 61-37, Sessions’ amendment was adopted.  (Earlier, Menendez’s amendment was also adopted.  The two are not mutually exclusive, but rather offer different focuses to dealing with immigration issues.)  Every Republican present voted for the amendment.  Of Democrats present, 13 voted for the amendment and 35 voted against it.  (The most progressive members voted against the amendment.)  The end result is that the bill went forward including language that would allow for expanding the zero tolerance prosecution policy for illegal entry, completing 700 miles of border fencing and deploying 6,000 National Guard troops to the southern border.

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