Immigration Reform Bill Moves to Full Senate


The bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” held together despite an onslaught of amendments and some efforts to kill its comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Tonight, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill 13-5, largely intact, to the full Senate for a vote.

It is the first step in a series of hurdles for immigration reform that includes increased border security, a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and reforms to legal immigration designed to streamline the process.

The committee vote was met with cheers of, “Yes, we can,” by those in the room.

It took the 18 senators five days for markups and they considered 300 amendments, with many of those that passed doing so in a bipartisan nature. Overall, 48 Republican amendments passed.

“I don’t think there has been a markup on such a complex bill that has been this open,” Sen Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said during closing remarks.

The entire mark-up was streamed live via the committee website, with active tweeting by the senators and their staffs upon passage or failure of an amendment.

“I appreciate the work of the Senate Judiciary Committee in taking the bill my colleagues and I introduced in April as a starting point for debate,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the “Gang of Eight.” “We have a historic opportunity to end today’s de facto amnesty and modernize our immigration system to meet our 21st century needs. I remain optimistic that the Senate, by improving the bill through an open and deliberative floor debate, will seize this opportunity.”…

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