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 RubioRubio apologized to Trump for 'small hands' crack Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Fla. Senate candidate bashes Rubio MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainTrump: Illegal immigrants treated better than veterans Trump should apologize to heroic POWs McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Trump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeDem senators call for sanctions on Congo McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money Overnight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSchumer touts policy victories over Obama administration Puerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate Overnight Healthcare: House, Senate on collision course over Zika funding MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals How airport security lines got so bad Dem senators call for sanctions on Congo MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezDems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Lobbying World This week: GOP lawmakers reckon with Trump MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetGOP Senate hopeful wants to go beyond Trump's Muslim ban Lawmakers push to elevate Cyber Command in Senate defense bill GOP ad calls Clinton 'a living history of scandal' MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.