Washington • At Sen. Mike Lee’s request, the Senate Judiciary Committee amended the immigration bill to ensure police could continue investigating immigrants who attempt to use fraudulent documents to enter the country or get a job.
The bipartisan sponsors of the immigration-reform bill welcomed the changes offered by Lee, R-Utah, which reestablished existing laws that they inadvertently dropped.
One amendment made it a criminal offense to knowingly use a fraudulent document to bypass E-verify, the federal program where employers can check on the immigration status of prospective workers.
A second amendment reinstituted the law against attempting to use a doctored passport to enter the nation.
These were the first immigration amendments offered by Lee that the committee accepted. He is one of four committee Republicans to announce their opposition to the comprehensive-reform effort, and the Utahn is expected to vote against the bill when it comes up for a final vote later this week.
Two Republicans — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona — are sponsors of the bill. While Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, hasn’t indicated his position and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is leaning toward voting for the bill but hasn’t made a final determination.
All of the committee’s 10 Democrats are expected to support the overarching bill.