Senate Adopts Wasteful Border Enforcement Amendment to Immigration Reform Bill

MIRA joins groups around nation calling for an end to concessions

June 25, 2013 BOSTON — In a successful bid to win broader  Republican support for the immigration reform bill, the Senate voted last night to adopt the Corker-Hoeven border-enforcement amendment, thereby agreeing to double allocations for border agents and raising spending by almost 70 percent. The 67 to 27 vote raised the probability that that the bill will not be filibustered, but the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) joined with immigrant rights organizations from across the country to decry the amendment's wasteful spending and dangerous threat to border residents' civil rights.

"Decades of evidence show that enforcement-only measures don't work," said Eva Millona, Executive Director of MIRA. "In 2012, the U.S. spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement, more than on the FBI, the Secret Service and all other federal forms of internal criminal enforcement combined. In addition, border crossings that year were lower than at any point since the early 1970s. Despite these combined facts, the Senate chose to adopt an amendment that dedicates another $30 billion of taxpayer money to border enforcement, thereby adding hundreds of miles of fencing, increasing drone patrols, damaging the environment, and in many other ways disturbing the peace and threatenig the civil liberties of border residents. Here in New England, we support our allies in the Southwest border states and urge Congrees to end making concessions on the hard-fought immigration reform bill. It's time for the Senators to stand with families and vote for the bill now."