Sen. Lee: Gang of Eight’s bill is ‘an immigration ObamaCare’

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.                    

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Lee said the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act introduced by a bipartisan group of eight senators known as the Gang of Eight, was similar to ObamaCare because it was negotiated in “secret” by special interest groups.

“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 RubioColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Rubio: I hope I can trust whoever wins with the nuclear codes Rubio faces Trump-like challenger in primary MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainMarines reignite debate on women in combat Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Report: Prominent neoconservative to fundraise for Clinton MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote Senate Republicans may defy NRA on guns MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeMcConnell quashes Senate effort on guns Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote Senate Republicans may defy NRA on guns MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA This week: Senate showdown over gun control Dems push vulnerable GOP senators on gun control MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinSupreme Court limps to finish Senate Dems link court fight to Congressional Baseball Game Dems: Immigration decision will 'energize' Hispanic voters MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate narrowly rejects expanding FBI surveillance powers Senate narrowly rejects new FBI surveillance Kaine, Murphy push extension of Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Ted Cruz chooses sides in Colorado Senate primary The Trail 2016: Reversal of fortunes MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.

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