Immigration reform bill begins markup in Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin marking up the
Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill from the "Gang of Eight."

301 amendments have been filed, setting the stage for extended debate. Senate immigration bill brings flood of amendments:

About two-thirds of the 301 proposals came from Senate Republicans,
including measures to grant Congress more authority over security along
the border with Mexico, to require illegal immigrants to provide DNA
samples before gaining legal status and to reduce the number of
undocumented workers who would be eligible to pursue citizenship.

The amendments reflected the desires of many GOP lawmakers, who say that
they will support only a comprehensive overhaul that puts a higher
priority on law enforcement along the border and in the workplace. The
Senate Judiciary Committee will begin considering the amendments
Thursday, and the fate of the 844-page bill will be tested by a process
that is likely to stretch through several days of hearings in coming
weeks.

* * *

Although Democrats have generally been more supportive of the bill,
they offered dozens of amendments, including two from Judiciary
Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.) that would allow same-sex
foreign spouses and partners of U.S. citizens to apply for visas.
Republicans have said that they will not support any comprehensive bill
that includes gay rights protections.

Despite the potential
pitfalls, the sponsors of the legislation expressed confidence Tuesday
that it will survive, even thrive, through the amendment process.
Members of both parties acknowledged that the bill is likely to grow
more conservative in nature because the GOP-controlled House is unlikely
to support the legislation in its current form.

* * *

The four Democrats and four Republicans in the coalition have said that
they will work together to fend off any “poison pill” amendments offered
with the intent of killing the legislation.

* * *

Jeffrey Bell, policy director with the American Principles Project,
said Rubio was “confident that he can get the changes, that the bill has
to change somewhat and that, at the end of the day, it’s going to be
okay.”

Leahy has said that he hopes the Judiciary Committee will
finish the amendment process and hold a vote on the bill by the end of
the month, potentially sending it to the floor for a full Senate vote in
the summer.

House leaders are weighing whether to consider a
comprehensive immigration bill or to break it into smaller pieces, a
tactic opposed by Democrats and the White House.

Think Progress has a list of The 11 Most Heartless Republican Amendments To The Immigration Bill.

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