Senator Leahy’s Refreshing Amendment Policy

Author: on May 7, 2013

Listen carefully.  That ‘click’ ‘click’ ‘click’ sound you hear isn’t your clock.  Around the country, and potentially around the world, immigration advocates and restrictionists alike are hitting the “refresh” button over and over and over again on a Senate Judiciary Committee website.  Why? What’s so special about this website?

This website isn’t just special, it is extraordinary.  It is unique in the history of immigration reform.  It is the fulfillment of a promise by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) who has told his fellow Judiciary Committee members that all proposed amendments to S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” must be filed by 5p.m. today and will be posted publicly on this website:

‘Click’ ‘click’ ‘click…we’re waiting.  We’re waiting to see what amendments will be offered by the 18 members of the committee.

We know already there will be a sponsors’ amendment, which would replace the current bill with an 867 page corrected version that fixes some errors and typos, and clarifies some things that caused confusion in the original 844 page bill.  The sponsors’ amendment is the equivalent of a shoe-in (see AILA’s updated section-by-section analysis showing the changes here:


Senator Leahy himself has posted an amendment: it would prohibit the establishment of a border crossing fee at land borders for pedestrians or passenger vehicles.


Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) has posted four amendments thus far.


So far, nothing else has been posted.  But because of Chairman Leahy’s leadership, we know where we’ll be looking, and for the first time the American public is guaranteed the chance to review the proposed amendments before the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the markup process later this week.  That is a win for a transparent government, reflecting the values on which our country was built.


We’re waiting.  We’re watching.

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T. Douglas Stump is founder of one of the oldest immigration law firms in the State of Oklahoma and represents a large portfolio of clients across the U.S ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to individuals. His clients include energy companies, engineering firms, I.T. firms, hospitals, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, medical research institutes, and many more. The firm specializes in securing work visas for highly skilled foreign employees and assisting professionals such as physicians, nurses, engineers and others seeking immigration benefits. Mr. Stump currently serves as the National First Vice President of the 11,500 member American Immigration lawyers Association (AILA), the nation's largest organization of immigration attorneys. . He has been listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 1996 and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for immigration law. Mr. Stump was recently recognized in Oklahoma Magazine as one of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Oklahoma and is listed in Who's Who of International Corporate Immigration Attorneys. He has co-edited over 25 books on immigration law and spoken at more than 75 national and international conferences on immigration law. He frequently serves in an advisory capacity on legislative efforts to draft new immigration laws.

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