This just in from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):
During the week of July 6-10, the U.S. Senate considered amendments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill. During the debate, the Senate considered and adopted several immigration enforcement amendments which continue the enforcement-only approach to immigration reform. An amendment offered by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) enhancing the U.S.-Mexico border fence was particularly disturbing.
DeMint Amendment #1399: This amendment would require the completion of at least 700 miles of double fencing along the Southwest border by December 31, 2010, as well as require double barriers along portions of the fence.
USCCB Position: The USCCB has opposed the construction of a border fence, arguing that it will not stem, overall, illegal immigration, and could lead migrants to undertake more dangerous journeys into the United States. It also would force them to rely on expensive and dangerous human smuggling operations.
The Senate also adopted an amendment to extend the employment verification program, offered by Senator Sessions, and two other immigration enforcement amendments by voice vote (not roll call).
Notwithstanding the substance of the amendments, a vote in favor demonstrates that enforcement-only approaches to immigration reform are still supported by the majority of the Senate. Using the border fence vote as an example, we must communicate to our Senators that enforcement-only legislation is wrongheaded and ineffective and that only comprehensive immigration reform will help repair a badly broken immigration system.
Action and Targets: Clicking on this link will bring you to two separate letters, one which thanks your Senator for voting in opposition to the DeMint amendment and one expressing disappointment for their vote on the DeMint Amendment. Below, please find the roll call vote for the DeMint Amendment, with a "Yea" voting for the fence and a "Nay" voting against the fence.
Please send the appropriate letters to your Senator. It is just as important to thank your Senator for the right vote as it is expressing disappointment for a wrong vote. You can also use the letters as talking points if you wish to contact them via phone at 202-224-3121.
Specific Targets: While it is important that all Senators receive letters or calls, there are specific target Senators important to the comprehensive immigration reform debate (and who should support CIR) who should hear from us:
Target Senators who voted the wrong way on the DeMint amendment: Democrats: Baucus, Bayh, Boxer, Feinstein, Klobuchar, Landreiu, Lincoln, McCaskill, Merkley, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Pryor, Rockefeller, Schumer, Specter, Stabenow, Tester, Webb, and Wyden. Republicans: Bennett, Brownback, Hatch, Graham, Gregg, McCain, Snowe.
For more information, please contact: Antonio Cube at email@example.com or Chris West at CWest@crs.org
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
Question: On the Amendment (DeMint Amdt. No. 1399 )
Vote Number: 220
Vote Date: July 8, 2009, 11:34 AM
Required For Majority: 1/2
Vote Result: Amendment Agreed to
Amendment Number: S.Amdt. 1399 to S.Amdt. 1373 to H.R. 2892 (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010)
Statement of Purpose: To require the completion of at least 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the southwest border by December 31, 2010.
Vote Counts: YEAs 54 NAYs 44 Not Voting 2
Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Nay Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Yea Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Nay Udall (D-CO), Nay
Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Nay Kaufman (D-DE), Nay
Florida: Martinez (R-FL), Nay Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Nay Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Burris (D-IL), Nay Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Yea Lugar (R-IN), Nay
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Yea McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Nay Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Nay Mikulski (D-MD), Nay
Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting Kerry (D-MA), Nay
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Nay Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Nay Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Nay Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Nay Reid (D-NV), Nay
New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Yea Shaheen (D-NH), Nay
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Nay Udall (D-NM), Nay
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Hagan (D-NC), Nay
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Nay Voinovich (R-OH), Nay
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Yea Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Yea Wyden (D-OR), Yea
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Nay Specter (D-PA), Yea
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Nay Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Yea Graham (R-SC), Yea
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Nay Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Utah: Bennett (R-UT), Yea Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Nay Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Nay Webb (D-VA), Yea
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay Murray (D-WA), Nay