Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) filed an amendment yesterday to the fast-track trade bill to "lock in assurances that this legislation cannot be used to change federal immigration law." Senate Democrats blocked the bill from coming to the floor earlier this week, however, after negotiations, the bill will come back to the floor for a vote.
Sen. Cruz released the following statement on his amendment:
"The Obama Administration has repeatedly assured Members of Congress that there is nothing in the Trade Act of 2015 that would allow the President to unilaterally make changes to federal immigration laws. I agree, and we should put it in writing and make it binding law," said Sen. Cruz. "I am a strong supporter of free trade, but I cannot support legislation that would allow the President to once again circumvent Congress to enact his own immigration laws. Since the Obama Administration has emphatically argued that TPA will not affect immigration, it should support this amendment, which makes that promise explicit."
The amendment states that nothing in the Trade Act of 2015 or in any trade agreement subject to the Act "shall alter or affect any law, regulation, or policy relating to immigration."
The amendment also states that any fast-track procedures shall not apply to any implementing bill submitted with respect to a trade agreement "that includes any provision that alters or affects any law, regulation, or policy relating to immigration."
Senate Democrats struck a deal that will allow debate and vote today on two separate trade bills in order to proceed to the fast-track trade bill that includes Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance.
Read Sen. Cruz's amendment
Updated: Thu, May 28th 2015 @ 9:15am EDT