IN THIS May 11th LEGISLATIVE WEEKLY…

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House Appropriations Committee Rejects Border Security, E-Verify Amendments

During a markup of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 supplemental spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee last Thursday rejected two amendments that sought to enhance border security and protect American jobs. The first amendment, offered by Homeland Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY), contained several provisions aimed at strengthening the integrity of the U.S.-Mexico border. Additionally, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) offered an amendment that would prevent jobs created by the supplemental from being taken by illegal aliens. (Congressional Quarterly Committee Coverage, May 7, 2009).

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Napolitano Endorses DREAM Act; Dodges Questions about “Comprehensive” Immigration Reform

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano endorsed the DREAM Act but altogether avoided making a public statement about legislation to enact what amnesty advocates call “comprehensive” immigration reform. The hearing, the first in which Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) presided as ranking member, was held as part of the Committee’s oversight authority over the Department of Homeland Security. For over two hours, members of the Committee asked Napolitano about the DREAM Act, “comprehensive” immigration reform, E-Verify, and a host of other immigration and security-related issues

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Supreme Court Rules on Identity Theft Case in Flores-Figueroa

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of an illegal alien who was convicted on charges of identity theft and sentenced to two additional years as a result. (See FAIR Legislative Update, February 9, 2009). The case, Flores-Figueroa v. United States, involved an illegal alien who, in order to gain employment at a steel company, provided a false name and date of birth together with a fraudulent alien identification number and Social Security number which had never been assigned to a real person. In 2006, Mr. Flores-Figueroa told his employer that he wanted to be known by his true name and wanted to change the Social Security and alien registration numbers on file for him. He then presented his employer with a Social Security number and an alien registration number that were not his but which the government had assigned to other people. His employer became suspicious and contacted federal authorities. (See Government Brief).

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Obama Administration Releases Budget; Immigration Programs Affected

Last week, the Obama Administration released the details of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request. The numbers suggest the Administration intends to realign enforcement priorities, by increasing funding in some crucial areas and cutting funding in others. Immigration programs impacted by the budget include: E-Verify; 287(g); the prioritization of aliens who are to be removed from the United States; the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP); and border security.

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Study Finds Porous Border Poses Significant Terrorist Threat

A report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a separate academic study conclude that the points of entry along the U.S. border and unsecured porous border continue to pose a threat from terrorists who may seek to exploit border security weaknesses.  They also serve as a reminder that significant changes are needed to address this risk.

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For more information from FAIR, visit us on the web at http://www.fairus.org/.

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