Senate Judiciary Committee Begins Debate on Immigration Bill

Senate Opens Debate on the Bipartisan Immigration Reform BillThe comprehensive immigration reform bill crafted by the 8 bipartisan senators was unveiled in April. 301 amendments to the Senate bill were filed and more than half of those amendments were from the Republicans. The Senate panel cast the first congressional votes on the amendments on Thursday and the Senate Judiciary Committee met and debated for eight hours and voted on 31 amendments. Out of those amendments, 21 amendments were adopted and the rest were rejected.

Though few amendments have been adopted, key provisions in the Senate immigration reform bill have not been changed. The immigration reform bill of the gang of 8 will not only legalize undocumented immigrants but will also stiffen border security. Likewise, it will also bring a dramatic change to the labor policy and will create new guest workers programs. There are a few critics who are planning to kill the immigration reform bill. They say that the Senate immigration reform bill would grant amnesty to the violators and encourage illegal immigration. However, the proponents say that it is mandatory to legalize the undocumented immigrants and resolve their status.

Most of the amendments dealt with border security and the senators stated that the most important thing that the immigration reform bill must do is to secure the borders of the country. Most of the senators, including Senator Chuck Grassley, agreed that the borders must first be secured and that if border security is not stiffened, the population of undocumented immigrants will grow. Moreover, Grassley’s amendment that has been adopted, states that the entire border of the country must be secured.

All the amendments that called for border security were not adopted and some amendments were rejected. 21 amendments were adopted and 8 of the amendments that were adopted were from the Republicans. The Judiciary Committee will meet again on Tuesday and continue its consideration and the Senate bill is likely to offer a long term solution to the immigration problems. This landmark immigration reform bill was backed by President Barack Obama and the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to complete the work on the bill by the end of this month.