The Senate is expected to vote on a motion to proceed to the immigration reform bill on Tuesday afternoon and continue work on the bill throughout most of June.
“Like the president's healthcare law, the gang bill was negotiated in secret by insiders and special interests, who then essentially offered it to Congress as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition,” Lee said.
S. 744 would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration. The bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month on a bipartisan 13-5 vote.
Some Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty for illegal residents before strengthening border enforcement. Lee said the Senate should follow the example of the House and pass smaller reforms separately rather than one large bill.
“The bill that will come to the Senate floor next week is essentially the same huge, complex, unpredictable, expensive and special-interest driven, big government boondoggle it was when it first came to the committee,” Lee said. “The bill does not secure the border. It doesn't build a fence. It doesn't create a workable biometric entry-exit system. What standards and benchmarks it does set, the bill simultaneously grants the secretary of Homeland Security broad discretion to waive.”
Lee said he’d prefer to pass legislation securing the border and fixing the current immigration system before granting amnesty to the estimated 11 million people residing in the United States illegally.
Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioObama: Trump's rigged election talk 'not a joking matter' Obama: Trump and Putin have a 'bromance' Obama slams Rubio for Trump support MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainHigh anxiety for GOP Trump: 'Very disappointed' GOP senator dropped support GOP senator: I'd consider Clinton Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamHigh anxiety for GOP NYC mayor: Trump sounds like ‘a third-world dictator’ Five takeaways from final debate MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeHigh anxiety for GOP Five takeaways from final debate Trump sparks furor at final debate MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerImmigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump Senate Dems demand answers from Wells Fargo over treatment of military MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezWarren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate poll raises Republican hopes in Pennsylvania, Florida Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs GOP Senate candidate reverses course, says he’ll vote Trump MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.