A Clear Path by ThinkProgress War Room

A Clear Path
May 9, 2013 | By ThinkProgress War Room

So Far, So Good on Immigration Bill

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began historic work on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. The centerpiece of the bill is a path to earned citizenship for the 11 MILLION undocumented immigrants already present in this country.

As far as today’s proceedings went, it’s so far, so good:

  • Modest improvements were made to the bill, including a provision mandating that law enforcement determine whether deporting an individual would raise humanitarian concerns with regard to the individual and/or his or her family.
  • GOP extremists attempted three separate times today to put up roadblocks to a pathway to earned citizenship that would have essentially guaranteed that the 11 MILLION undocumented would remain in the shadows for decades, if not forever. Fortunately, all three of these attempts were roundly defeated by Democrats and pro-reform Republicans.

Nearly three dozen amendments from both Republicans and Democrats were cleared during the largely amicable legislative markup, with 21 approved — and all but one of those on a bipartisan basis. The committee will continue working over the next two weeks until all 300+ amendments filed have been dealt with, though many of these will not actually be brought up by their sponsors or receive vote.

Today’s action only adds further positive momentum to the bill and a pathway to earned citizenship, which is supported by a whopping 83 percent of Americans.

BOTTOM LINE: The Senate immigration bill is a strong bill, but already represents a compromise for both sides. A bipartisan group of senators is making sure to hold the line on the bill and maintain a clear path to earned citizenship, despite the best efforts of some extreme, anti-reform Republicans to throw up roadblock after roadblock.

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