June 27, 2013

Manchin Announces Support For Immigration Legislation That Secures Our Borders

Bill also requires illegal immigrants to learn English, pay fines and back taxes, go to the back of the line before they can apply for citizenship after thirteen years

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today voted in support of S. 744, “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” which secures the country’s borders, creates a thirteen year legalization process that is tough and fair, guarantees American workers are hired before immigrants, and establishes a legal process that is legitimate and sustainable. Senator Manchin’s support of this bill came only after the Senate agreed on an amendment to significantly strengthen border security. This fiscally responsible legislation, which will cut the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, passed the Senate by a vote of 68-32.

“It is encouraging, and truly, a breath of fresh air that Congress approached immigration reform in a bipartisan manner led by Senators from border states that deal with this issue every day,” Senator Manchin said. “This bill, first and foremost, secures our borders by adding 700 miles of fencing, doubles the number of border patrol agents by 20,000, and makes sure that dangerous criminals who entered this country illegally are deported first. Then, and only then, do we put in place a thirteen year legalization process that is tough but fair, that requires all employers within 5 years to institute an employment verification system to make sure undocumented workers are not hired, and that guarantees that hardworking Americans will be hired first. Finally, it’s important that we agree on a sustainable path forward to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.

“Whenever we successfully work through the democratic process with honest input and debate from both parties, we put ourselves in a better position to create commonsense solutions to solve these tough issues. After careful consideration, I believe that this legislation is a step forward to finally reforming our broken immigration system and effectively securing our borders.”

Senator Manchin introduced an amendment to the immigration bill that would cap compensation for private contractor executives employed for border security at $230,700, which is the most that government civilian employees can make in a given year. Private companies could pay their contractors higher salaries; however, they would be responsible for the difference, not the taxpayer. His amendment passed in the Senate by a vote of 72-26.



• This bill will require 700 miles of fencing and an additional 20,000 border patrol agents along the Southern Border. This is almost double the amount of agents currently patrolling the border.

• This bill will require all employers to use an employment verification system (or E-Verify) within 5 years to ensure undocumented workers are not hired.

• This bill will require an electronic entry-exit system at all international airports and sea ports so we can track those who come to the country on visas and find those who have overstayed their visa.

• The bill will require the use of technology such as towers, ground sensors, thermal imaging, drones, and Blackhawk helicopters, to be installed at the borders to ensure there is complete surveillance.