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 RubioSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama The ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainSenate: Act now to save Ukraine A Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Meet Trump’s ‘mad dog’ for the Pentagon MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Pentagon should have a civilian chief to give peace a chance Lawmakers eye early exit from Washington MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump Interest groups keep the political ads coming MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerDems press Trump to support ‘Buy America’ provision in water bill Overnight Finance: Trump takes victory lap at Carrier plant | House passes 'too big to fail' revamp | Trump econ team takes shape Anti-Defamation League: Ellison's past remarks about Israel 'disqualifying' MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinThis week: Government funding deadline looms Lawmakers eye early exit from Washington Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezThe right person for State Department is Rudy Giuliani Warren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate passes college anti-Semitism bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.