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Senate Sends Immigration Reform to House with 14 GOP Votes

Opponent Jeff Sessions called the bill, which passed 68-32, “a surrender to lawlessness” and warned that it will “decimate immigration enforcement."

by
Bill Straub

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June 27, 2013 - 4:51 pm
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WASHINGTON – After months of wrangling, the Senate passed wide-ranging and bipartisan legislation on Thursday aimed at reforming the nation’s troubled immigration system, but the measure’s fate appears murky as the debate shifts to the more skeptical House.

The legislation, known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, passed in a 68-32 vote with Vice President Joe Biden presiding. Fourteen of the chamber’s 45 Republicans joined all majority Democrats in supporting the bill, which drew a series of emotional floor speeches.

GOP votes came from Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Susan Collins (Maine), John Hoeven (N.D.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Jeff Chiesa (N.J.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), and Orrin Hatch (Utah).

“No one should dispute that, like every sovereign nation, we have a right to control who comes in,” said Rubio, a member of the so-called Gang of Eight that formulated the proposal. “But unlike other countries, we are not afraid of people coming in from other places. Instead, inspired by our Judeo-Christian principles we Americans have seen the stranger, and invited them in.”

Rubio, the scion of Cuban immigrants viewed as a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, recounted his own parents’ journey to the nation’s shores, maintaining that immigrants come “in search of liberty and freedom, for sure. But often simply looking for jobs to feed their kids and the chance of a better life.”

“Even with all our challenges, we remain the shining city on the hill,” Rubio said. “We are still the hope of the world. Go to our factories and fields. Go to our kitchens and construction sites. Go to the cafeteria of this very Capitol. There, you will find that the miracle of America still lives. For here, in America, those who once had no hope will give their children the life they once wanted for themselves. Here, in America, generations of unfulfilled dreams will finally come to pass.”

Rubio said he supports the reform effort “not just because I believe in immigrants, but because I believe in America even more.”

But the effort drew plenty of opposition from Rubio’s Republican brethren, particularly because of perceived shortcomings in the provisions dealing with border security. GOP lawmakers, like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), argued that the nation needs to fix its leaky southern border before addressing issues like work visas and providing the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already within U.S. borders with a path to citizenship.

Sessions characterized the reform bill as “fatally flawed” and accused the Gang of Eight of kowtowing to special interests like organized labor and big business in its formulation.

“The legislation adopted today guarantees three things — immediate amnesty before security, permanent future illegal immigration and a record surge in legal immigration that will reduce wages and increase unemployment,” Sessions said. “There will be no border fence, no border surge, nothing but the same tired illusory promises of future enforcement that will never occur.”

Sessions called the bill “a surrender to lawlessness” and warned that it will “decimate immigration enforcement and erode the constitutional rule of law upon which our national greatness depends.”

“This legislation demonstrates that the governing body in Washington has become severed from the people it is supposed to represent,” he said. “It is a broken promise 1,200 pages long.”

The bill as passed offers illegal immigrants who have resided in the U.S. since Dec. 13, 2011, an opportunity to seek provisional legal status that allows them to work but renders them ineligible for federal benefits. They must pay a penalty, taxes, and a processing fee and can only apply for permanent status after 10 years. A new visa program for low-skilled workers would also be developed.

The action marked the first time the Senate has passed major immigration legislation since 1986. An effort during the administration of President George W. Bush never got out of the starting gate.

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Top Rated Comments   
The invaders are not peaceful and they do not deserve my pity. If the wanted a better life they literally have the numbers to affect change in their home countries. That they instead choose to disrupt mine leaves nothing but contempt and anger in my heart towards them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The truly sublime thing here is that the republicans actually think they've accomplished something to be proud of.

Kinda like when your five-year-old discovers your spray cans and paints your Buick.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sessions called the bill “a surrender to lawlessness”

It also destroys the birthright and citizenship of every American in this country.

I despise these treasonous b@stards!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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The Senate vote is done: the bill passed. The question is will the House vote the bill down? Boehner's comment that "the House will develop its own version" reveals that he is foolishly leading the House into a trap. The two versions will go to a conference of the House and Senate and the end result will be amnesty with a bunch of pork bits for everyone.

I am of the opinion that the mantra that the "immigration sysyem is broken" is completely phony.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a resident of Arizona, I'm ashamed of our 2 senators for supporting this. We knew what McCain was, but Flake fooled us on this last election. That won't happen again. Any fool can see that border will not be secured. A bill was passed years ago that required the fence to be finished and it was not done. The Border Patrol agents and ICE agents we have are under orders not to arrest many of the illegals. What good will more agents do? This bill must be stopped.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Inspired by our Judeo-Christian principles'

It is the loss of those principles which got us into this mess, and importing
non-JC people, or people who have a veneer of Christianity over a pagan core
will not help matters. Note that it is the _principles_ to be followed in this life
to reach goals in this world which make the difference, not the religious beliefs which must be followed, regardless of the harm they do in this world, to ensure salvation in the next.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What will it take before conservatives fight back?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Obama administration wrote the bill in the White House, which the Gang of Eight never even read before voting for it! Corker and Hoeven got their names on the Obama-crafted amendment to get two more RINO votes for it. Lisa Murkowski is no longer a Republican; she is just another undocumented Democrat. Just another smokescreen to pander to another Democrat base voting bloc to keep your eye off the economy, which is "growing" at a robust 1.8% annual rate.

McLame gave us a hint a few days ago when he said "Business wants it; and the Republican Party is supposed to be pro-business!" Check the business groups that are funneling money to McLame and Grahamnesty and you will have an idea about the source of the RINO push for amnesty!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whatever the votes, this much is for sure: amnesty will be the "rule of law", if the legislation passes. They can parse this or that but the facts remain the same. RINOS's will bear responsibility for the transforming of America into a third world country and that is that - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/20/what-are-the-chances-of-reining-in-a-lawbreaker-in-chief-who-abets-illegal-aliens-then-punishes-those-who-expose-said-lawbreaking-addendum-to-the-results-of-washingtons-dictator-in-chief-via/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'll never trust Rubio anywhere near the Oval Office. What would he do with Executive Orders, the power to blow off federal laws, a compliant AG and Sec State and Sec DHS, a welcome mat for illegal alien lobbyists, the veto, the bully pulpit? This man will enact his tribalist dream if he ever gets the chance.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is really important not to have a death wish. It really helps keep the peace. If the politicians of a nation give the impression that they care more about electoral success for their own party than they do about the survival of their nation then people will notice. The governments of countries which resent the USA will feel that the USA lacks the patriotism to defend the USA. The friends of the USA abroad will lose heart. The neutrals will start to waver as well. The chances of something going wrong go up. This legislation really gives the impression that Washington does not care about the long-term survival of the USA. Illegal immigration puts a huge economic and demographic strain on the nation which has to endure it. No nation can survive a permanent invasion, day after day, year after year, decade after decade. Just because the invasion is peaceful and the immigrants deserve pity it does not follow that the USA can endure the invasion. There is a price for everything. The price for encouraging illegal immigration like this Bill is that a war with the foregners who hate you is more likely.
As for the Republicans who get no votes from this and insult their traditional demographic - those whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exceptionally well put.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The invaders are not peaceful and they do not deserve my pity. If the wanted a better life they literally have the numbers to affect change in their home countries. That they instead choose to disrupt mine leaves nothing but contempt and anger in my heart towards them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
don't matter what kind of enforcement and border security you put in it. this administration doesn't do law enforcement against their potential voters. we have a fraudulent, treasonous pile of slime w/o any respect for the rule of law; and, they were put there by stupid people.

speaking of, i keep hearing supposedly smart people being interviewed on news shows who say they believe and trust their dear leader. personally, i would not let people in my house or anywhere near my loved ones who had sold thousands of untagged assault weapons to murderous drug dealers, and thereby become accessories to hundreds (maybe thousands) of murders. smart people would be asking what the heck was the real reason for it, and putting 1 + 1 together to get a real obvious answer. gun control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Rubio's Death To America, or anything like it, goes through it will be Permanent Goodnight to America.

"Other than your country being assassinated by it, how did you like my bill?" - Marco Booth Rubio
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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