National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Blog & Updates

Legislative update for June 30, 2009

June 30, 2009 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

 


DHS Appropriations: On June 24th, the House passed the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security.  Highlights relating to immigration were reported in a previous update. The House report accompanying the bill can be found on-line here:


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp111:FLD010:@1(hr157)


 


In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee has passed its own version of the DHS appropriations bill. This bill allocates $11.6 billion to Customs and Border Protection, including funding for 20,063 Border Patrol agents and $800 million for fencing, infrastructure, sensors, surveillance, and other technology on the border.  $5.7 billion is allocated for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, including $139 million for worksite enforcement; $36.2 million for 33,400 detention beds; $230 million for Fugitive Operations teams; and $195 million for the Secure Communities program.  For USCIS, $118.5 million is allocated for E-Verify.  The administration requested $206 million for the processing of refugee and asylum applications and military naturalization applications, to reduce the surcharge burden on other immigration applications.  The Senate allocated just $5 million for the processing of military naturalization applications. The remainder of the $206 million the administration requested was not included.  (The House allocated $100 million.)  The $10 million initiative for immigrant integration the administration requested was also not included.  The bill is expected to go to the Senate floor the week of June 6.


 


You can find the Committee’s report explaining its allocations here:


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp111:FLD010:@1(sr031)


 


DREAM Act:  On June 23rd, approximately 500 DREAM Act student activists were in Washington for a mock “graduation ceremony” and lobby visits on the hill.  These students had a lot of compelling stories to tell, and they had some success in bumping up the number of co-sponsors of the DREAM Act in the House.  Six new members signed on to the bill on that day.  As of this writing, there are now 23 co-sponsors in the Senate and 80 co-sponsors in the House.


 


For more on the DREAM Act ceremony, see our blog post here:


http://www.immigrationforum.org/blog/display/dreamers/


 


Links to more information on the DREAM Act can be found on our DREAM Act legislation page:


http://www.immigrationforum.org/policy/legislation/the-dream-act-in-the-111th-congress


 


A Miami Herald Editorial on the DREAM Act was published on June 26th:


http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/story/1114679.html


 

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