Full summary of today’s hearing located below
On 5/14/13 the Senate Judiciary Committee held Day Two of the markup on S. 744 and completed most of the debate on Title IV of the bill (non-immigrant visa provisions). 15 amendments were passed with majority support out of the 25 votes taken. All but one of the amendments that passed did so with broad bipartisan support on voice votes. The “Gang of Eight” continued to stay committed to the core provisions of the bill, with the two Republican Committee members of the “Gang of Eight” (Senators Flake (AZ) and Graham (SC)) joining all ten Democrats to vote no on two amendments offered by Senator Sessions that tie certain provisions of the bill to the successful implementation of a biometric entry/exit system.
Negotiations are still currently ongoing between Senator Hatch and the “Gang of Eight” to include some of his amendments (#10-17) in the final version of the bill. Although at the end of the day Chairman Leahy officially closed Title IV (with a few specified exceptions that will be brought up on Thursday), most likely some of Senator Hatch’s amendments to the high-skilled visa program will also be addressed on Thursday. The committee will then move to Title III, starting with the E-Verify provisions.
In other amendment news: three of Senator Grassley’s eight offered amendments were passed (all with voice votes). These will: require additional information in internet job postings for non-immigrant employees in connection with the issuance of H-1B visas (#58), strengthen provisions regarding student and exchange visitor visa programs (#69), and require the Secretary to implement the transmission of data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to databases used by CBP (#77). Two amendments offered by Senator Schumer (#3 and #4) to allocate small numbers of visas to underrepresented countries passed as well as an amendment by Senator Klobuchar (#1) to provide protections for abused derivatives of temporary workers also passed.