WASHINGTON — The Senate bipartisan immigration overhaul cleared its first hurdle to becoming law late Tuesday after passing 13-5 out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill, crafted by a group of four Republicans and four Democrats including Sen. Michael Bennet, attempts fixes to some of the most intransigent immigration problems, including border security, the path to citizenship for so-called DREAMers who were brought to the country illegally as children, and a revamp of the nation’s visa system.
The proposal also offers a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people living in the United States currently and requires employers to electronically check new hires.
“This transparent, constructive, and deliberate process is how the Senate is supposed to work,” Bennet said. “The Judiciary Committee considered hundreds of amendments in a good faith effort that resulted in a stronger bill.”
Bennet is not on the Judiciary Committee.
Not included in the final package of amendments was a controversial proposal to allow gay Americans sponsor their foreign born, same sex partners for green cards. Bennet said he supported the idea in spirit, but not at the expense of the proposal’s final passage. Many notable Republicans called the idea a dealbreaker.
The proposal now heads to the full Senate for a vote, likely in July.
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