The bipartisan Gang of Eight made a public appearance together yesterday to kick off their new immigration bill’s public debut. “Today is just the beginning of the voyage,” noted Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. “We start off with optimism because this bipartisan agreement gives us a sturdy ship to ride out the seas.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to stage its first hearing in regards to the legislation today and will follow it with another next Monday. Schumer says that the bill will not be going through the markup process until next month, which gives the public a better timeframe in which to read through the legislation, which is over 800 pages long.
The eight Senators are not the only ones who were giving a very public endorsement to the plan to bring sweeping changes to the immigration system of the United States. Also in attendance at the event were representatives from labor and business, together with liberals, conservatives, Protestant and Catholic groups. Also included at the event were Richard Trumka, the president of AFL-CIO, Bruce Josten from the US Chamber of Commerce, Eliseo Medina from the SEIU, tax crusader Grover Norquist and DREAM Act activist Gaby Pacheco.
The senators and their members of staff worked for a number of months with various outside groups to try to come up with a proposal that would result in a path to US citizenship being able to be given to the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.