With border security remaining a sticking point in the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform debate, two Republican senators are about to unveil an "overkill" amendment they believe could break the impasse and pull their colleagues off the fence to support passage of new legislation.
Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., are still working with the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” to draft the language. While neither lawmaker has released details at this time, reports are that the “border surge” measure would double the number of enforcement agents at the southern border and require 700 miles of fencing. There is possibility of a compromise on E-Verify.
Corker appeared on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” but refused to provide any specifics until the bill is introduced sometime on Thursday. He admitted, however, that the details being worked on are being vetted by both sides so that there can be overwhelming support for the legislation.
“There are members on our side that I think this is going to meet their test from the standpoint of border security,” Corker said on the program.
It also seems the bill will have some bite.
“For people who are concerned about border security, once they see what is in this bill, it’s almost overkill,” Corker assured, adding that he hopes the measure can be sent to the House “with some momentum.”
“My sense is we have the best chance we’ve ever had to actually pass meaningful reform that does secure the border at the same time,” Corker said. “Our efforts are making something happen and I believe something is going to happen.”
One of the "Gang of Eight," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., welcomed the Corker-Hoeven amendment on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” calling it a “dramatic improvement in border security.” Rubio has said for weeks that immigration reform won’t happen until there is improvement in securing the nation’s borders.
“If you look at what’s being proposed here, this is a dramatic expansion and improvement in border security that I hope will allow, finally, for this legislation to have the support it needs,” Rubio said. “I think this amendment is a dramatic improvement on border security, unlike anything that’s ever been proposed or has a chance of passing in the past.”