Immigration reform supporters in the United States are hoping that the relatively easy and drama-free passage of legislation through the Senate will increase the chances of winning full Senate approval for the bill, with even the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Senior Republican Senator, Charles Grassley from Iowa, who voted against the bill, still acknowledging that the panel had a fair debate about the legislation that is likely to improve the chances of it receiving full approval.
However, yesterday a tentative deal in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party, appeared to be in danger of falling apart. Behind the closed doors of the House, partisanship was raging fiercely, with eight Democrats and Republicans trying to do their best to rescue a deal that had been announced the previous week.
Advocates for immigration reform and congressional aides claim that the primary sticking point is over prohibitions on federal healthcare for the 11 million illegal immigrants as they slowly make the transition to legal residency and permanent resident status via the new legislation. The Senate bill is to go to the floor after Memorial Day weekend in June after the Senate Judiciary Committee gave their approval on Tuesday.
Although bipartisanship seems to have worked well in the Senate so far, this spirit of cooperation is only likely to go so far, with discord arising not only over healthcare but also over the enforcement of border provisions in the future as well as other security programs.