Republicans split over immigration reform

The Senate cast its first votes this week for the immigration reform bill, and the Republican party appears to be suffering from a split in terms of how it regards the comprehensive bill from the bipartisan Gang of Eight.  The Republican party is faced with a number of challenges, including how it can win the support of the Hispanic population of the United States so that it has a chance of winning the next presidential election.

As well as Senator Marco Rubio, who has been urging his party to support the immigration reform bill, Senator Kelly Ayotte also announced that she would be backing it on NBC’s Face the Nation, adding yet more conservatives to Rubio’s team.  Ayotte also told CBS that the Senate bill would allow immigrants to have a “tough but fair” pathway to citizenship.

“I’ve looked at this very carefully,” says Ayotte.  “Our immigration system is completely broken; we’ve got 11 million people living in this country illegally and in the shadows.  We have a legal immigration system that isn’t meeting our needs to grow the economy.  And so I looked at this carefully, which is a thoughtful bipartisan solution to a tough problem and so that’s why I’m going to support it.”

While Rubio has succeeded in getting some Republican backing for the immigration bill, other senators such as Jeff Sessions from Alabama and Ted Cruz from Texas are against the bill and are trying to come up with one of their own that would not offer citizenship to undocumented immigrants.