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McHenry Wants to Force Vote on Border Security Bill

Republicans and Centrist Democrats Want Vote

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) signed a petition designed to force an up or down vote on the SAVE Act, a border security and immigration enforcement bill with 141 co-sponsors that is being blocked by Democrat leadership.

“For 126 days, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat leadership have blocked, stalled, and delayed this bipartisan bill. It’s long past time the federal government secured our borders and started enforcing the law, and they least they can do is let us have an up or down vote on it.”

“The SAVE Act will put 8,000 more guards on the border, strengthen workplace verification systems, and help stem the tide of illegal immigration into our country. Sadly Nancy Pelosi prefers amnesty and taxpayer giveaways to border security and the rule of law, and is keeping us from having a vote on it.”

“It doesn’t matter who wrote the bill or who gets credit for it. What matters is that we get the border secured as soon as possible.”

Introduced on November 6, 2007 by Heath Shuler (D-NC), the SAVE Act has 141 co-sponsors, including 47 centrist Democrats and 94 Republicans. Congressman McHenry is an original co-sponsor of the legislation.

The bill attacks the problem of illegal immigration through a two-pronged approach: border security and workplace and interior enforcement of immigration laws.

If enacted, the SAVE Act would add 8,000 more Border Patrol agents to border security operations, and encourage the recruitment of former Armed Services personnel to work along the border. It would also increase the use of technology to improve border security by developing and implementing a plan to use military equipment at the border and outfitting Border Patrol agents with advanced surveillance and communications equipment.

To aid interior enforcement of immigration laws, the SAVE Act tightens worker verification standards and expands the E-Verify System, a system that helps employers quickly and efficiently determine whether or not a worker is in the country legally. Under this plan, all companies with 250 or more employees would be required to comply with the E-Verify System immediately, and smaller companies will be phased in over the next four years.

The Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, an organization devoted to stopping illegal immigration, has endorsed the proposal, saying, “The [SAVE Act] offers the best chance for true bipartisan immigration reform without amnesty.”

But because Speaker Pelosi and other liberal Democrat leaders have refused to move the bill forward in the legislative process, Republicans decided at a Conference meeting this morning to file a discharge petition, a rare procedural motion that will force a vote on the bill once it has been signed by 218 Members of the House.

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