Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Senate Debate on Immigration Reform

Duke1676 has this update from yesterday posted over at Migra Matters:
The Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon passed an immigration reform bill that will now move on to the floor for further debate tomorrow morning.

The bill, which incorporates most of the provisions of the bill originally sponsored by Sen.Kennedy(D-Ma) and Sen. McCain(R-AZ) calls for the most massive reform of the immigration system in twenty years. It contains the comprehensive measures to allow for a path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the US. It also has provisions for a guest worker program and a plan to allow for 1.5 million agricultural workers and their families to work legally. Additionally an amendment was added to the bill that guaranteed that humanitarian aid workers and others providing services to immigrants would not be subjected to criminal penalties.
The biggest observation I have on the Senate Judiciary Committee's deliberations from yesterday is the fact that the bill was passed without a majority of the majority. Only four of the committee's ten Republicans voted in favor of the final measure to be sent to the floor of the Senate (McCain Specter, Graham, DeWine and Brownback). The Democrats remained united, with all eight voting in favor (12-6 final vote).

I think this is the first time something like this, a bipartisan coalition, has formed under the Bush Regime for such a big issue. I'm cautiously optimistic that a moderate bill was advanced, unfortunately it will now be offered up for two weeks of thrashing from Senators like Tom "Lesbianism is so rampant" Coburn and Trent "Strom Thurmond is my hero" Lott.

The markup of this piece of legislation could restore some of the most offensive portions of the House measure (HR4437). It will be on Frist's head if any arm-twisting or back-alley deals are made in the dead of night, as they did with Medicare reform destruction. It's up to the people to continue sending their message in the streets. It appears :

Lawmakers central to the immigration debate acknowledged that the televised images of tens of thousands of demonstrators, waving flags and fliers, marching in opposition to tough immigration legislation helped persuade the panel to find a bipartisan compromise.

"All of those people who were demonstrating were not necessarily here illegally," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who sponsored the legalization measures with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. Mr. Kennedy described the people who would benefit from the bill as "our neighbors," adding: "They're churchgoers. They're the shop owners down the street. They're the people we know."

La Raza Unida Jamás Será Vencida
The people united will never be defeated

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

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