Senate Panel Considers 300 Amendments to Immigration Reform Bill, Bill Likely To Proceed To Full Vote In Senate This Summer

more+
less-

On Thursday, May 9, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee began examining about 300 proposed amendments to the 844-page immigration reform bill, an overhaul of the existing immigration system which would increase the number of high-skilled and low-skilled worker visas and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  While most of the amendments are unlikely to pass, they provide a valuable preview as to the issues that will be heavily debated over the coming months.  Some of the notable proposed amendments include:  allowing gay citizens and permanent residents the ability to sponsor a spouse or partner for a visa; banning from U.S. Citizenship anyone who has ever been “willfully present” in the U.S. without legal status; requiring Homeland Security officials to conduct in-person interviews with each undocumented immigrant who applies for legal status; and increasing border security by requiring “operational control” of the border and adding another 700 miles of border fencing.  Since a simple majority is all that is required to send the bill to the full Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee could potentially approve an immigration bill within two weeks and clear the way for major debates on the Senate floor in the coming months.