Since the Senate passed its immigration bill on Thursday, a number of immigrant advocacy groups have dropped their support for the legislation. According to The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball, the Border Center for Human Rights called the Senate bill “a promise of abuse, violation and death,” and 18 Million Rising said the bill will “exacerbate…the climate of fear created by criminalization and overreaching surveillance.”
The source of their discontent is the 11th-hour Hoeven-Corker amendment, designed to placate immigration hard-liners who want reform to be contingent on securing the border. According to Republican Sen. John Hoeven’s website, the amendment guarantees
- An unprecedented surge of an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents are deployed, maintained and stationed along the southern border, more than doubling the current force.
- The Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy is deployed and operational, which includes, at a minimum, full implementation and activation of the $4.5 billion in specific technology and equipment requested by the Border Patrol to achieve full surveillance of the border.
- The Southern Border Fencing Strategy has been implemented, and at least 700 miles of fencing has been completed along the southern border. (There are 350 miles of pedestrian fencing already deployed along the southern border. This amendment would double that and ensure a total of 700 miles of fencing along the border.)