Markup Process Continues in the Judiciary Committee

During its third work session, the Senate Judiciary Committee debated on 26 amendments and adopted 16 amendments. Most of the amendments that were considered by the Judiciary Committee dealt with employment and more than half of those amendments were from the Republicans. The Senate Committee has met thrice and it has considered 99 amendments so far. The Committee will meet again on Monday and continue its work. The Committee will consider Title III of the Senate immigration reform bill on 20th May and it is likely to finish its work on the bill, before 27th May, 2013.

Senator Patrick Leahy’s amendment that would make the EB-5 program permanent, was adopted by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday. This amendment would also make the program more efficient and attractive. Few other amendments that were adopted, deal with the E-Verify and the W non-immigrant visa programs. An E-Verify amendment that was filed by Senator Al Franken would require the US Department of Homeland Security to improve the E-Verify system. Another amendment filed by Senator Al Franken would create an office the would assist the small businesses and employers and provide them information about the E-Verify system. Senator Schumer’s amendment would modify the W visa program, that the Senate immigration bill would create.

At the same time, the members of the House have also come up with an immigration reform legislation. Members of the House who crafted the bill hope that their bill would pass the House and the Senate. Their plan includes a 15 year path to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants. Nevertheless, the Senate immigration reform bill would permit undocumented immigrants to obtain US citizenship in 13 years. This plan has also been backed by President Obama. Their bill is similar to the Senate immigration reform bill. Their plan also calls for border security and focuses on workplace enforcement. The immigration reform bill crafted by the members of the House would create guest worker programs and permit foreign nationals to legally work in the country. Likewise, their bill would legalize undocumented immigrants and grant them US citizenship.