Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Senators file more than 300 amendments to immigration bill; gay rights latest obstacle

Charles Grassley
Senators have responded to the proposed immigration bill by filing 301 potential amendments, "including measures to grant Congress more authority over security along the border with Mexico, to require illegal immigrants to provide DNA samples before gaining legal status, and to reduce the number of undocumented workers who would be eligible to pursue citizenship," report Ed O'Keefe and David Nakamura for The Washington Post.

Patrick Leahy
About two-thirds of the amendments were from Republicans, including 77 by Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, ranking GOP member on the Judiciary Committee, O'Keefe and Nakamura write. Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vermont, submitted two amendments "that would allow same-sex foreign spouses and partners of U.S. citizens to apply for visas," though, Republicans have said they will not support any proposals that include gay rights. That appears to be the major obstacle to passage of a bipartisan immigration reform bill. (Read more)

The bill includes a new "blue card" program that would allow experienced farm and agriculture workers who are in the country illegally the opportunity to move closer to obtaining a green card and legal residency, more quickly than most other workers. 

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