Senate Immigration Bill Clears Committee in Bipartisan Vote

Ten Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee joined with three Republicans in support of a sweeping deal that will go to the floor in June.

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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

From right: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy confers with Senators Chuck Schumer and Chuck Grassley as the Senate Judiciary Committee assembles to work on a landmark immigration bill, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on May 20, 2013.

The Senate committee debating a landmark immigration bill approved the bipartisan measure on Tuesday night, voting 13 to 5 to send the amended package to the floor.

Ten Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee joined with three Republicans, including two of the four GOP authors of the bill, in support of a sweeping deal that would open a path to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented immigrants, beef up border security and refashion the clunky U.S. immigration system.

The decision came after five long days of debate, during which the committee considered scores of amendments to a deal crafted last winter by eight Democrats and Republicans. The alliance proved enduring. Members on the committee kept the core of the bill intact by banding together to parry dozens of proposed changes that would have stripped key provisions such as a pathway to citizenship or introduced so-called “poison pills” that would have hampered its chances of winning approval on the Senate floor.

The final day of the markup process was the most dramatic. Just after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy — who presided over a transparent and equitable process as chairman of the committee — introduced an anxiously anticipated amendment that would have given gay Americans the right to sponsor their foreign-born partners for green cards, as heterosexuals are able to do.

“I do not believe we should ask Americans to choose between the love of their life and love of their country,” Leahy said as he introduced the controversial proposal. Republican members of the Gang of Eight, who are risking the ire of their constituents by backing a sweeping immigration overhaul, warned that the amendment would unravel the whole deal.  Senator Lindsey Graham called it “a bridge too far.”

To avoid jeopardizing the fate of the bill, several Democrats on the committee chose to sacrifice their beliefs to save it. In a decision that pitted ideology against their desire to finish the first major rewrite of U.S. immigration law in a generation, Democrats bowed, one by one, to the political reality that Republicans would bolt if the amendment was passed. “I cannot support this amendment if it will bring down the bill,” said New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, one of the bill’s authors, who called the decision “excruciatingly difficult.” Several other Democrats who also support gay rights lined up against the amendment as well.

In a poignant moment, Leahy acknowledged defeat “with a heavy heart,” opting not to call for a vote on the proposal “as a result of my conclusion that Republicans will kill this vital legislation if this anti-discrimination amendment is added.”

The decision capped a frenetic day which also saw Republican Orrin Hatch win a last-minute compromise that boosts allotted visas for high-tech workers, a change that had been sought by a passel of technology companies. The concession was enough to earn a yea vote from Hatch, who had been seen as the only swing vote on the committee.

The full Senate is expected to take up the bill in June, after a recess next week. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday he would not block the measure from consideration and praised the bipartisan group for its work.

President Obama issued a statement Tuesday night praising the Gang of Eight for their work. “None of the Committee members got everything they wanted, and neither did I, but in the end, we all owe it to the American people to get the best possible result over the finish line,” Obama said.

The authors of the bill have said they hope to win a strong majority of 70 votes in the Senate. While the measure is likely to have the 60 votes required to overcome a potential Republican filibuster, its prospects are still uncertain in the Republican-controlled House. So far the bill’s supporters have deftly maneuvered around every obstacle they have encountered, but they still face a tough road ahead.

MORE: The Made-Up Numbers Dominating the Immigration Debate

MORE: On Immigration, a Hawkeye in No Hurry

31 comments
valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

LET US DO THE MATH.......11 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS.......TO BE LEGALIZED......WHY??????????...........THEY WIL IN TURN BRING IN THEIR MOTHER , FATHER, 4 CHILDREN EACH PLUS WIFE.........11 ,ILLION IS NO..........66 MILLION.........SUCKING ON THE GOVERNMENT'S........WELFARE TEATS.....

WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM??????????? WHERE WILL THE JOBS COME FROM ??????????  HOW WILL IT AFFECT THE BLACKS BORN IN AMERICA WITH THE HIGHEST NO JOB TODAY RECORD UNDER HALF WHITE BARRY OBAMA.........WITH NO SLAVE BLOOD TO HIS NAME.......JESSE THE :SHAKEDOWN" JACKSON WAS RIGHT......

WE NEED 20 MILLION GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TO OVERSEE PROVIDING NEW PAPERWORK, DRIVERS LICENSES, WELFARE CARDS, SECTIOIN  HOUSING.....ETC..........ETC,..........

C H A O S...........THERE WILL BE RIOTS IN THE STREETS...........PEOPLE KILLING EACH OTHER FOR FOOD TO EAT.......WATER TO DRINK......

T H I N K..........11 MILLION EQUALS 66 MILLION PLUS 20 MILLION EQUALS 88 MILLION.....

valentine, world historian, comedian.....lol....

DavePizer
DavePizer

"ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!"

Everyboy says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into White countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY White country and ONLY white countries to "assimilate," i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I'm not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn't object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the White race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti_racist. What they are is anti_White.

Anti_racist is a code word for anti_White.

DavePizer
DavePizer

Is there a White Genocide happening?

jmac
jmac

In today's America, basic human rights can't even come out of Committee.  Giving up the gay issue is somehow suppose to help this bill pass the Senate and House?   It's not passing the House until after the mid-terms.   We all know that.   

BobJan
BobJan

Reading these posts are good entertainment. People want these Senators to do this and do that and change this and change that. That is just hilarious. These guys in the Senate are bought and paid for with cold hard cash and bennies from their campaign donors. They're going to do exactly what they've been told to do. If you want people in government to have "common sense" when making decisions then you better throw all 535 of them out because they all owe something to "the man". For those of you that don't know who "the man" is, he's the one with the cold hard cash. Yee-hawwwwwwwwwwww

ali1950cgy
ali1950cgy

Its called divide and rule, nothing new. We will be killing each other at the end and this is the goal of globalization.

DaveFrancis
DaveFrancis

AN APPROVAL IN THE SENATE MARK-UP, BUT THE IMMIGRATION BILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO?

IT’S NOT OVER TILL ITS OVER?

No illegal alien need to be jumping up and down, because the bill has not reached the house yet. There is a lot of doubt that the Senate bill (S.477) will pass, simply because the overconfident Democrats, plus a few Republicans rejected a large and major proportion of the amendments?The “TRIGGERS” which was a major part of the amendments as an intricate extent ion of the bill fell on deaf ears and rejected. All of the PEOPLE’S reputable Senator as Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) amendments, with the similar voice of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that they forecast it will be killed in the House. The law may have been approved, but now it must pass public scrutiny, especially when they realize they are the ones paying for all these criminal aliens, seeking lawful status. THERE ARE MANY HURDLES FOR POLITICIANS TO JUMP BEFORE THE DRAFT BECOMES LAW, UNLESS CORRUPTION ENTERS INTO THE PASSAGE OF THE BILL. THEY ARE BEING INTENSELY UNDER SCRUTINY AND IF THEY MAKE THE WRONG MOVE, WILL BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE, IN THE PRIMARIES AND FUTURE ELECTIONS. THE MEMORY OF THE PEOPLE WILL NOT BE DENIED.

THERE IS NO REAL SAFEGUARD FOR AMERICANS, AGAINST RISING TAXES.

Already uproar has sprung up, as it can be viewed in the thousands of commentaries, letters and other means of written communication in both the Liberal and Conservative press. The American people have watched on C-Span this judiciary immigration mark-up committee and are extremely irate with the disappointment because they have no voice in this important matter. Now they are ready to verbally kill the Senators and House Representatives who better find shelter. The word is out and I guarantee the faxes and phone calls are going to ricochet of the walls of their offices, while more Stewart advocates will appear at their office doors.The pro-sovereignty, less-immigration groups are the avenue for the outrage, where citizens and even legal residents can contact the politicians that have compromised the foundations of our laws, as drafted in the U.S. Constitution. The faxes are open at NumbersUSA, the Tea Party and other E-organizations, that are mobilizing new member-activists. Around the country there is a fighting stance as the Tea Party realizes they were targeted by the IRS, because of their ideology. If they haven’t already discovered that there is a toll-free-- 1-888-978-3094-- they can use to contact their U.S. Senator and the House Reps.

1. The reintroduction of the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which was to be complete the 700 mile double layered fencing was voted down.

2. Stopping the gross IRS incompetence of illegal alien parents fraudulently collecting child tax credits on a massive scale. The IRS agency neglecting to prosecute foreign nationals, who by design are stealing taxpayer dollars of upwards of 7 billion a year, was also rejected. A low-income family (illegal aliens) with two kids can receive up to $5,372 in tax credit, even exceeding the amount they pay in taxes, even if they pay NOTHING.

3. Business owners since the 1986 thought they were above the law and hired illegal aliens with great financial rewards. Even though E-Verify for employers to detect unauthorized labor, it is not going to be fully operation nationwide for another 18 months.

4. For worse than anything else supplied in the reform bill, is illegal aliens can still collect welfare and public entitlements.

5. The Democrats also defeated a measure by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley that would have barred members of street gangs from the proposed amnesty.

6. Democrats defeated a Sessions amendment that would have given enforcement agencies some of the federal money given to so-called “sanctuary cities”

IN THIS IMMIGRATION REFORM LAW ONLY ILLEGAL ALIENS GAIN SPECIAL BENEFITS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL HAVE NO CHOICE, BUT TO PAY FOR THE NEWLY RECOGNIZED LAWFUL RESIDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES. THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG OF AMENDMENTS REJECTED, THAT THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION WARNED US ABOUT FORTHCOMING GIGANTIC IN THE FORM OF TAXES FROM THE DEMOCRAT SENATORS.

MarkHenderson99
MarkHenderson99 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Unfortunately this bill still contains an unjustifiable increase in the H1B visas cap.
http://wh.gov/Syon since the senate won't listen consider appealing directly to the president.

splash
splash

thank the silicon valley leeches for the h1b inflation. 

WeimMom
WeimMom

I’ve made an overt effort to speak with cashiers at 'Major Retailer' who see so much WIC & Food Stamp fraud by illegal aliens; we consumers are paying higher prices to make up for their theft. The Money Center is their 1st stop after checking out, sending all their money to MEXICO!

Food Stamps & WIC allow certain products, brands and quantities yet, Mexicans take more or non-approved items on WIC & Food Stamps, hold up grocery lines knowing the Mgr will “Let them have it”.

As told to me by a cashier at a major retailer, One Latino woman was making a scene, screaming at her “Just give it to me” when denied the items not approved through Food Stamps! Now, price matching fraud by Latinos…. I know some whites, blacks & Asians abuse the system, however Latinos appear to be the worst!

America is NOT getting the best and brightest as they are successful and remain in their home country. The US is getting the Welfare Class, stealing from our lower income Americans, adding the burden to our economy. Latinos REFUSE to speak English, NOT living with/as Americans, rather taking it over!

When amnesty is given to those that do NOT deserve to be rewarded, do you not see a great anger on the horizon? It’s only a matter of time before we see ‘Hate Crimes’ as the economy will worsen from the weight of the over crowding of the poverty stricken welfare class! Blood will be on the hands of the law makers who chose to kick American constituents to the curb!

Go to WalMart, talk to cashiers, & employees who can tell you so many stories and how they watch the abuses while making low wages, trying to support their American children without entitlements! Many have said they were indifferent to the illegals until being on the front line, seeing all their theft, I included!

Unless you are a renter in Jo Co, you have no clue how hard it has become to find ‘decent’ affordable housing as so many illegals are taking them up! I rented from one landlord who told me he had to replace the flooring (Now using cheap paneling) after having rented to Latinos as they ripped up nice expensive hardwood
floors, took it with them after they were evicted for NOT paying their rent. Working for a major retailer has provided me with the opportunity to speak with many who have told me similar horror stories, forcing we renters to pay higher rent and deposits. Not only do the Latinos tear out flooring, they take ceiling fans, bathroom cabinets, etc. My Maintenance Man told me they hate renting to them because they always pay their 1st month rent and deposit, then wait to be evicted paying no more rent while trashing the apt.

One Hispanic woman in the Apartment community next to mine was telling me how the Latinos trespass onto their property, trashing the laundry room, and shut down their pool three times last summer as Latino kids poop in the pool! This woman got to experience this with poop in her hair! Hottest part of the summer and NO pool! Once again, forcing Americans to move further east to avoid the disgust of the Mexicans living habits! I’ve spoke with city utility workers who confirm what i’ve seen, more and more apartments are being vacated by native born Americans as many illegal aliens take hem over! I’ve caught more than one messing with water meters, why?

krw1943
krw1943 like.author.displayName 1 Like

That this bill has advanced is disgraceful in the fullest possible meaning of the word, and then a whole lot more. The USA congress continues to fail the American people in favor of illegal alien lawbreakers. If the illegals displaced congressmen and not just American workers this bill would have been DOA. Our politicians have been reduced to loathsome twits and they should be summarily fired - i.e., voted out.

MARINEUSMC0311
MARINEUSMC0311

THE GANG OF 8 BILL BY PARTISAN ???????? HA--HA---ONLY 3 REPUBLICANS  AND 13 DEMOCRATS.

MARINEUSMC0311
MARINEUSMC0311 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I HOPE IT DIES SOMEWHERE. THAT BILL IS BAD FOR AMERICAN WORKERS.

Nogig
Nogig like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

This is nothing short of TREASON -- a massive betrayal of the nation and citizens.  Importing cheap foreign labor on temporary visas has NOTHING to do with immigration.  And no other government in the world would advocate for wholesale replacement of it's professional workforce for the profit of foreign-owned firms.

Yet here is Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, leading the Congressional assault on behalf of massively profitable and foreign-owned outsourcing firms.  Has money changed hands?  And the Senate is now advancing massive expansion of H-1B visas -- even as nearly two million US engineers remain unemployed or underemployed, and half our nation's STEM graduates are unable to find work in their fields.

How can the profits of corporations (at a six decade high) and moneyed foreign interests be greater than the interests of our nation and citizens?  How can destruction of our country's base of engineers, scientists and technology worker possibly be in the national interest?

Who's next?  Which other professions will be joining buggy whips and US software developers?  Perhaps accountants, engineers, pharmacists, architects, nurses, pilots, dentists or medical technicians?  The H-1B visa program is ill-conceived, highly corrupt and damaging.  It must be ABOLISHED -- NOT expanded.

Write your Congressman -- NOW.

MARINEUSMC0311
MARINEUSMC0311 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Nogig I AGREE WITH YOU....CORPORATIONS AND MEXICAN GROUPS WROTE THE BILL.

 NO ONE REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN WORKERS ALOW  TO PARCIPATE IN THE REFORM.. ICE---SHERIFFS FROM BORDER TOWNS KEPT OUT .. I  BEEN A DEMOCRAT ALL MY LIFE AND NOW I'M ASHAME  OF THE PARTY. INDEPENDENT NOW.   

DEMOCRATS # 1 GOAL ????  AMNESTY AND THE HISPANIC VOTES.....IF AMNESTY IS PASS ??? TEXAS   AND ARIZONA WILL BECOME BLUE STATES  , ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC GOAL......GOP CAN KISS THE WHITEHOUSE GOOD BYE FOR GOOD... IS GOING TO BE A ONE PARTY RULES.

CharlesEdwardBrown
CharlesEdwardBrown like.author.displayName 1 Like

This bill should die in the Senate. No Senator should vote to give Amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens and provide unlimited numbers of H1B visas to employers without even checking to see if there are engineers and scientists already in the US who can do the job.

MarHerman
MarHerman like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

People who think that the best solution to the immigration problem is to round up 11 million people and send back to where they came from are completely ignorant; imagine the cost and consequences of widespread unrest and rebellion, not to mention an absolute alienation from the international community. The milk has already spilled, some people have been here since their childhoods, of course we should blame those who broke the law, but what about the failed system which kept a closed eye and allowed it happen in the first place?

CharlesEdwardBrown
CharlesEdwardBrown

@MarHerman Why should we pay for these criminals? We have laws and the Federal Government failed to do their job and enforce them. We need to make it impossible for illegal aliens to get or keep jobs in the United States. That will cause millions of illegal aliens to lose their current jobs and go home for work. They are NOT WELCOME HERE. TIME to take out the trash.

daena.vassar
daena.vassar like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think the Senate should come down heavily on those "patriot" businessmen that are willing to hire undocumented workers at throwaway wages.  Kill the demand and you automatically kill the illegal influx.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Of course it couldn't pass until Leahy withdrew an amendment that it would be extended to same sex immigrant couples too. Immoral people always clamor over their bigoted view of morality.

Tom_90803
Tom_90803 like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Fair play" is an important value to all peoples from all countries. Immigrants that have played by the rules are welcomed. However, there is a nation that boarders the US which offers an easy geographic portal to the US for it's citizens to come and live in the US live without following the US immigration rules. There are people who live across ocean in other countries that have waited for years to come to the US. Why are the American people rewarding "cheaters" instead of fairly dealing with all people from all countries?

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Tom_90803 I don't disagree with the sentiment, but you also have to be practical.  The illegal immigrants are not going home.  Nobody is going to even try to send them home.  Even if they tried, they would fail.  There are just too many that have been here to long.

Your choices are to allow them to stay here legally, or allow them to stay here illegally.  You could do things to push them further into poverty, but that has it's own problems.

jason024
jason024

@Tom_90803 Simple.....there is not enough money to deport all of them. Let alone convince them to leave when many of their family members are US Citizens. You make it seem as if it is going to  be easy....it is not. In fact, since the bureaucratic process of an illegal gaining citizenship will most likely be a hot mess, let alone not take place until the border is "secure" you can be sure it will take forever.

If you truly wanted to punish people, take it out on the businesses who continually hire illegals....things like  jail time/loss of business license should do it.. 

CharlesEdwardBrown
CharlesEdwardBrown

@jason024 @Tom_90803 We deported all the illegal aliens in the 1950s and we can do it again. Learn a little history please.

jason024
jason024

@CharlesEdwardBrown @jason024 @Tom_90803 

 Uh try again....we have 12 MILLION in this country which is more  the 50s. Let alone our concerns about the budget and even trying to do it would be a fools errand. Different times as well...the enforcement practices for better or worse would not be the same.

petersen
petersen

Immigration and welcoming those from outside our borders is a hallmark of the American way of life and our nation's historical legacy. Immigrants contribute great things to this country and cannot be treated as common criminals. The bulk of the Republican Party will never accept this and will fight to deport every last Hispanic from our soil. Any position that does not involve rounding up every Hispanic in the country at gunpoint and sending them on the next military transport back to Mexico City is tantamount to "amnesty" in the eyes of the Republican voting base. No GOP candidate can ever succeed in his party while backing anything but the annihilation of the immigrant population in this country.   -  progresspolitics

RickHunter
RickHunter

@petersenI  have NO problem AT ALL with immigration.  I DO have a HUGE problem with ILLEGAL immigration.  For those that come here, willing to learn the language and obey our laws, I have NO problem rolling out the welcome mat for those people.  As for the rest, regardless of the reasons for coming here, they are breaking our laws and that is a blatant slap in the face to all of those hard working LEGAL immigrants who came here the right way, jumping through every hoop the federal government put in front of them, and sacrificing all that time and effort to make their American Dream come true.  ILLEGALS want all the benefits without having to go through the process and giving them Amnesty (because that is exactly what it is) only rewards those who break the law at the expense of those who willingly follow the law.

 A generation ago was supposed to be the last mass batch of Amnesty pushed through by the vaunted St. Reagan with the claims that this will never have to happen again.  Fast forward 25 years and the same crap is now being pushed on us.  So much for learning the lessons of history because we are repeating the same failed policies from a generation ago.