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Senate Vote: 151     Vote Date: Jun 18th, 2013

Issue:  Thune (R-SD) Amdt. No. 1197 to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (Immigration “Reform”). (Bill sponsor Charles Schumer (D-NY)).  Question: On the Thune amendment (3/5 required).

Result:  Amendment rejected 39 to 54, 7 not voting. GOP and Democrats scored.

Bill Summary. Would amend S. 744 to require the completion of additional border fencing before any changes in the status for illegal immigrants can take place. Specifically, the Thune amendment would:

  • Require the completion of the 350 miles of reinforced, double-layered fencing described in section 102(b)(1)(A) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted; and
  • Require the completion of 700 miles of such fencing before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be adjusted to permanent resident status (green cards).

Analysis: In a June 18 press release issued following the defeat of the his proposed amendment, Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) stated:

“Unfortunately, each time Congress has tried to fix our immigration system, promises to secure our border are never upheld. The completion of the fence required by current law would be a tangible demonstration that Congress and this administration are serious about border security. I am disappointed the Senate missed this important opportunity to communicate to the American people that we are serious about securing our border and enforcing the laws that we pass.”

The press release further noted:

“Of the 700 miles of fencing required by current law, less than 40 miles of the reinforced, double-layer fencing required by the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 have been constructed to date, despite this requirement being reiterated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.”

Although we applaud the amendment, Thune should have known it was an uphill battle against Establishment influence in Congress. The Establishment and its foundations (such as the Ford Foundation) have long supported open borders, not secure borders.

Consider just one Establishment figure, the late Robert L. Bartley, who served as the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal for 30 years (from 1972 to 2002).   Adopting the image of a conservative free-market Republican, Bartley would use the Journal to promote internationalism (NAFTA, WTO, the IMF and World Bank) to its mostly conservative readership.

Bartley was invited to join the CFR in 1979. He also showed up on the membership roles of the even more selective Trilateral Commission and attended the internationalist Bilderberg meetings.

In later years, Bartley would become even more open in his advocacy of internationalist goals: In an editorial for July 2, 2001, entitled “Open NAFTA Borders? Why Not?” Bartley wrote:

“Reformist Mexican President Vicente Fox raises eyebrows with his suggestion that over a decade or two NAFTA should evolve into something like the European Union, with open borders for not only goods and investment but also people. He can rest assured that there is one voice north of the Rio Grande that supports his vision. To wit, this newspaper….

“Indeed, during the immigration debate of 1984 we suggested an ultimate goal to guide passing policies — a constitutional amendment: ‘There shall be open borders.’”

Even after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the federal government refused to enforce our southern border.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Yeas and (bad vote) to the Nays. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)