Because 1986 wasn’t good enough – Senate Immigration bill passes Senate, now moves to the House
The Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill on Thursday afternoon, after a recently hashed-out compromise on border security helped convince a total of 14 Republicans to vote for the measure. The bill, which passed 68 to 32, could face a steep uphill climb in the Republican-controlled House.
The vote brings Congress a step closer to passing its first major immigration reform since the 1986 amnesty bill that legalized more than three million immigrants under President Ronald Reagan.
via Yahoo! News.
Immigration Reform Bill faces uncertain future in House
The crux of the Senate bill is a deal to offer quick legal status to illegal immigrants, but withholds full citizenship rights until some conditions are met.
The key difference between supporters and opponents has been over how strict to make those conditions. Democrats have said they don’t want to do anything that would interfere with the path to citizenship, and they have succeeded in beating back amendments to make the citizenship path contingent on provable success in reducing illegal immigration.
Instead, the bill ties citizenship to measures of spending and to whether certain infrastructure and manpower are in place.
The one major amendment that passed called for adding 20,000 Border Patrol agents to the southwest, and would push the Homeland Security Department to build an additional 350 miles of pedestrian fencing, which would, in many places, likely replace the vehicle barriers the government built in the last six or seven years after the last immigration debate.
Mr. McCain said the staffing, infrastructure and new technology are the guarantees he needs to be certain the failures of 1986 aren’t repeated.