US immigration bill could pass first hurdle by end of the week

It is hoped that the recently proposed US immigration bill is to be passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week, which would then allow the Senate to start debating the bill’s passage.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which conducts hearings prior to a Senate debate and vote, is said to be close to agreeing to pass the bill on to the Senate, although some sticking points still remain.

Senate Committee

Senate Committee

These disagreements centre around amendments regarding high-skilled immigrant visas sought by the high-tech industry (as reported on Emigrate2 last week), while there is also a debate over whether gay Americans should be given the right to sponsor their foreign-born spouses for green cards like straight Americans can.

Committee members have already accepted a number of Republican-sought changes to the bill, including provisions to tighten up border security, but the majority Democrats who sit on the Judiciary Committee have helped to repel any widespread amendments to the original bill.

And, according to the website, “Democrats have the votes to ensure committee passage of the legislation by the end of the week, before Congress breaks for its Memorial Day recess.”

The Senate debate on the bill is scheduled to take place in June. While passage through the Senate is far from a formality, some of the Senators responsible for putting together the bipartisan bill have previously spoken with confidence about the bill’s chances of surpassing the 61 votes which would pass the legislation with a majority on both sides.