Immigration reform faces Senate debate

seatsThe effort to overhaul the immigration system in the United States by President Barack Obama has entered a crucial week, with the Senate beginning a vital debate even as a similar effort hangs in the balance in the House of Representatives.  A key first vote is expected to be held today, and Senate Democratic leaders are hoping to be able to pass the bill before the Congress summer recess starts early next month.

The Senate effort is considered to be of vital importance in injecting some momentum into the efforts of the House, which are starting to flounder.  Obama, who is set to urge lawmakers today to pass the immigration bill before he hosts Ollanta Humala – the president of Peru – at the White House, says he does not care why Republicans support the reforms as long as they actually do.

“If I’ve got a bunch of Republicans who just for purely political reasons decide we’ve got to get right with immigration communities and so decide we’re going to pass immigration reform, I’m not concerned about their motives,” Obama notes.

A cloture vote is set to be held by the Senate today, which is expected to be enough to overcome any efforts to block it from being able to move to the floor of the Senate for amendments and debate.  Chris Krueger from Guggenheim Partners says that there is continued belief that the US immigration bill will be passed by 4th July, but admits that the situation remains “very fluid”.