Senators Release Legislative Text of Secure and Succeed Act

WASHINGTON – Sponsors of the Secure and Succeed Act tonight are releasing legislative text of a framework aimed at providing legal certainty for undocumented children brought to the United States by their parents and preventing others from falling into the same legal limbo in the future. The legislative text includes technical updates from a prior draft announced Sunday, and will be filed when the Senate reconvenes tomorrow.

The legislation is sponsored by senators Grassley, Cornyn, Tillis, Perdue, Cotton, Lankford and Ernst. The legislative text is available HERE.

Earlier today, Chairman Chuck Grassley called on Democrats to stop stalling the immigration debate they’ve been seeking and even shut down the government to have.  You can view his remarks HERE.


Support for Secure and Succeed Act: What They Are Saying

Public Support

Harvard-Harris Poll:

·         65% versus 35% support a DACA deal that ends chain migration, eliminates the visa lottery, and secures a border with a wall

·         79% think immigration should be based on skills, rather than family ties 

·         61% think current border security is inadequate

·         79% want secure borders rather than open borders

·         68% oppose Diversity Visa lottery

Pulse Opinion Research:

·         55% of voters support allowing immigrants to bring in only their spouse and minor children and not their extended family.

·         Nearly 6 in 10 voters support eliminating the visa lottery.

Trump Administration

President Trump: “The Grassley bill accomplishes the four pillars of the White House Framework: a lasting solution on DACA, ending chain migration, cancelling the visa lottery, and securing the border through building the wall and closing legal loopholes.  I am asking all senators, in both parties, to support the Grassley bill and to oppose any legislation that fails to fulfill these four pillars – that includes opposing any short-term “Band-Aid” approach.  The overwhelming majority of American voters support a plan that fulfills the Framework’s four pillars, which move us towards the safe, modern, and lawful immigration system our people deserve.”

Department of Homeland Security: “The Secure and Succeed Act includes recommendations made by the frontline officers of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This bill is a reasonable compromise that follows the framework laid out by the President.”

·         DHS: The Secure and Succeed Act Secures the Border, Ends Chain Migration, Cancels the Visa Lottery and Finds a Permanent Solution for DACA

Members of Congress

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “The Secure and Succeed Act is fair and addresses both sides’ most pressing concerns, conforming to the conditions the president has put forward. It offers a compassionate resolution for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. In exchange, this solution delivers funding for President Trump’s promise to fully secure the border, reforms our approach to extended family chain migration, and reallocates our arbitrary visa lottery into a more sensible, merit-based system. This legislation is a fair compromise that addresses the stated priorities of all sides. It’s our best chance of producing a solution that can actually resolve these matters -- which requires that a bill pass the Senate and pass the House and earn the president’s signature. It has my support.”

U.S. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn: “This proposal provides a common-sense, permanent solution for nearly two million people who find themselves in limbo. The Secure and Succeed Act gives us the opportunity to help these individuals and build the trust of the American people by securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws.”

U.S. Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune: “There’s a lot of interest in our caucus on the president’s proposal, because it’s leaning pretty forward on where our guys have been on a path to citizenship. But it also gets a lot of components that our folks would like to see addressed.” (Politico, 02/11/2018.)

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker: “Anything that goes left of this wouldn't even get taken up in the House. The president is not going to sign anything that doesn't secure the four pillars,' said a senior administration official familiar with his thinking. 'We took a lot of blowback. If you want the middle ground between Democrats and Republicans, this is the bill.”

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley: “This legislation is a reasonable approach to shielding children illegally brought to our country through no fault of their own while also taking the meaningful steps to ensure nobody finds themselves in the same situation in the future. This is a rare opportunity to fix a real problem and protect the country in a thoughtful and compassionate way. We simply have to correct the loopholes in current law that allow dangerous criminals to enter and remain at large in our country. Our proposal is supported by the President, who’s come a long way to reach a compromise. This is the only Senate proposal that has any chance of passing the House and being signed into law. If my colleagues are serious about actually finding a real and permanent solution to the DACA crisis, they should be ready and willing to support this compromise.”

U.S. Senator David Perdue: “President Trump has been very clear on what he will sign into law, and this is it. This is a great deal and the only solution that fully addresses the four pillars in the President’s framework. Now it is up to Republicans and Democrats in both chambers. If people really want to solve the DACA situation, secure our border, and fix the flaws in our current system that incentivize illegal immigration, they should be eager to support this plan.”

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis: “This is a common-sense compromise that accomplishes a number of goals that both parties have long supported. It offers a fair and compassionate solution for DACA youth to earn naturalization, and it effectively secures our borders to help prevent future illegal immigration and stop drug and human trafficking. It also provides a path forward for modernizing our broken immigration system so it can be more merit-based and reflective of the changing economic and labor needs of our nation. This legislation is the only proposal that the President supports, and the open amendment process will give Senators the opportunity to improve the baseline proposal and get it signed into law.”

U.S. Senator James Lankford: “We have a unique opportunity to finally get something done on the four immigration areas that leaders in Congress and the President agreed must get done - DACA, border security, the visa lottery, and family sponsorship reform. It’s important to do this in a way that prevents repeating this conversation again ten years from now. I call on my colleagues to put aside partisanship and posturing to have an honest debate about decades-long immigration issues and practical solutions that can pass both Houses of Congress and be signed into law.  There are many immigration proposals being floated in the Senate that the House will not pass and the President won’t sign. Too many families are counting on us to do the right thing. Now is the time to get this done.”

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton: “This is the only bill that has a chance of becoming law, and that’s because it’s the only bill that will truly solve the underlying problem. It will protect those eligible for DACA but also make sure we don’t end up back here five years from now. By addressing our border security needs and limiting family sponsorship to the nuclear family, it goes far beyond the other half measures that have been proposed. This bill is generous, humane, and responsible, and now we should send it to the president’s desk.”

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst: “We must ensure a path forward for those who were brought here through no fault of their own as children, while also enforcing our laws, putting an end to illegal immigration, and strengthening our border security. This framework is a step toward addressing the legal, economic, and security concerns that are present in the current debate and the unique challenges that the DACA-eligible population faces, and I urge my colleagues to support this proposal."

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin: “I could support that.” (Politico, 2/14/18.)

Leading Groups and Commentators

Bipartisan Policy Center: “The reality is if every initial proposal is declared a nonstarter, Congress will never start the negotiating process, and we will never solve this problem. If, as expected, a version of Trump’s proposal is introduced in the Senate for consideration this week and the amendment process is fair and open, rather than pillory it as imperfect, both sides should embrace it for what it is — a place to start the conversation and seek compromise.” (Theresa Cardinal Brown, “On DACA, not all bitter pills are poison,” Roll Call, 02/12/2018.)

Former Congressman Jack Kingston: “.#SenatorPerdue, #Cotton, #Lankford intro common sense immigration package. Goal is to balance #DACA & #BorderSecurity. @sendavidperdue @jameslankford @TomCottonAR @SenJoniErnst #ImmigrationReform” (@JackKingston, 02/12/2018.)


On the Senate Immigration Debate

Prepared Floor Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee

February 14, 2018

I rise today to express my frustration with the current status of the immigration debate in the United States Senate.

It amazes me that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle simply aren’t ready to have a serious immigration debate. They’ve been demanding to have this debate for months. They even shut the government down to get this debate. And now that we’re actually on it, when it’s time to put up or shut up, they’ve come up empty handed.

Despite having weeks to prepare, Senate Democrats are still rushing to put together plans. Let that sink in. Think about this for just a moment. The Senate Democrats recklessly shut down the federal government over immigration, and they did it over plans they still largely haven’t drafted.

That’s very frustrating, and it’s exactly why the American people no longer have faith in Washington. But even more frustrating is that for two valuable days they refused to allow the Senate to debate immigration measures.

Now I understand why the Democrats are afraid to vote on ending sanctuary cities—those policies are massively unpopular with the American people. Yet I can’t understand why Democrats refused for two days to allow us to debate those issues. That amendment would help us keep our communities safe from dangerous criminals. Who could be against that? Apparently the Democrats are, and they don’t want to help us protect hardworking Americans.

Aren’t enforcement issues part of an immigration debate? Isn’t border security more than just throwing money at infrastructure? Shouldn’t we be discussing how to reform our nation’s laws so that dangerous criminal aliens can’t inflict harm on innocent Americans?

I’m pretty sure, I’m actually 100% confident, the answer to those questions are yes. Those issues deserve to be discussed too. Americans like Kate Steinle, Sarah Root, and Jamel Shaw had dreams too.

If my colleagues were actually serious about debating this issue we’d be discussing border enforcement measures. Sadly, my colleagues’ plans that I’ve seen so far fall short of that goal. They’re all happy to throw money at the border, yet they refuse to actually give our law enforcement the legal tools they need to protect Americans. That’s a tragedy.

Worse still, none of my colleagues’ proposals are being developed in a way that can actually become law. Maybe for them, simply passing a partisan bill is enough. Leader Schumer said as much this morning. But that’s not enough for this Senator. This Senator actually wants to see something passed into law that will provide real protection to these DACA kids. That’s why I’ve introduced an amendment that could actually pass the House of Representatives and become law.

Polls show that the framework a number of us developed alongside the President is overwhelmingly popular. A Harvard Harris poll found that 65% of voters agreed with our plan, including 64% of Democratic voters. So despite the hyperbole you’ll hear form my colleagues, the President’s plan is not only popular, but again is the only plan that has any chance of becoming law.

It’s time for all my colleagues to get serious about fixing DACA. Stop posturing, stop showboating, and stop simply trying to pass a bill out of the Senate. Focus on making an actual law. If they focus on those things, then the choice for them will be clear. They’ll vote for the Grassley Amendment. They’ll back the President. And they’ll provide real security to DACA recipients and the American people.


Alexander, Isakson Join Secure and Succeed Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isakson today cosponsored the Secure and Succeed Act, which provides legal certainty for undocumented children brought to the United States by their parents and preventing others from falling into the same legal limbo in the future.  The Secure and Succeed Act, the only immigration proposal to be supported by the President, provides a generous opportunity for approximately 1.8 million DACA or DACA-eligible immigrants to earn citizenship while strengthening our nation’s border security and enforcement measures to reduce illegal immigration.

“For many weeks now, we’ve been working to negotiate a compromise that is compassionate, reasonable and capable of becoming law. Our goal is not to just pass a bill, it’s to pass a law that can bring about real certainty for those illegally brought here through no fault of their own and take important steps to protect the country. This is the only Senate plan that has any chance of actually becoming law and providing those protections. I’m grateful to have Senators Alexander and Isakson join us in this effort.  They are both genuine leaders known for their commitment to getting real results, and that’s what we are working to accomplish,” Grassley said.

“President Trump has shown leadership by proposing a result on DACA and improving border security. My goal is to get a result on both of these issues, so I will cosponsor and vote for Senator Grassley's amendment implementing the president’s proposal,” Alexander said.

“We have a real opportunity to secure our borders and address some of the issues in our immigration system. I’m committed to continuing to work toward real solutions, and this legislation will help meet many of these goals,” Isakson said.

The Secure and Succeed Act is also cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Thom Tillis, David Perdue, James Lankford, Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst. 

The legislation appropriates $25 billion for real border security such as physical and virtual fencing, radar and other technologies. It also provides for additional personnel for border control and ends key loopholes in current law that allow dangerous criminals to enter our country. The legislation prospectively limits family-based immigration to the nuclear family and reallocates the Diversity Visa lottery. Their proposal generously grandfathers all pending family-based visa applications in order to reward those who chose to follow the law and immigrate legally. The allotment for the Diversity Visa lottery will be reallocated to reduce this backlog and the employment-based visa backlog.

The Secure and Succeed Act includes the four reform pillars agreed to during a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders and President Trump in January: legal status for DACA recipients; increased border security; an end chain to migration; and an end to the diversity visa lottery.

For more on the Secure and Succeed Act, see the Summary and Legislative Text.


Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher