Make or break US immigration system reform bill clears Senate hurdle

Make or break US immigration system reform bill clears Senate hurdle

Make or break US immigration system reform bill clears Senate hurdle

The most far-reaching changes in US immigration law for decades are now a step closer to reality after the Senate vote cleared immigration legislation through with an easy majority.

After weeks of will-it won't-it speculation in the media, the 60 votes needed were easily garnered with seven more for good measure, against 27 votes for rejection. The victory was helped along by the 15 Republican senators who agreed to its advancement.

The vote was taken as President Obama continued his campaign from the White House itself, saying that the time for a total overhaul of the immigrations system is right now. Critics of the legislation found themselves in a tight spot, as even they were aware of the system’s need for drastic reform.

Last minute frustration was expected and evident, with Republican Ted Cruz of Texas hitting out at his own side as well as the Democrats by stating that lawyers on both sides want a ‘fig-leaf’ on the thorny subject of border security in order to justify a positive immigration vote. In the House, with its conservative Republican majority, there is opposition to the much-discussed path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the country.

House Speaker John Boehner has faced appeals from lawmakers to prevent immigration legislation coming to the vote. According to GOP lawyers, such a vote could well result in the necessity of an unpalatable compromise involving the Senate.

Meanwhile, a number of immigration-related measures are in the process of being approved by the House Judiciary Committee, an action usually taken as a prelude to a House vote. Measures yet to gain Senate approval concern border security and the controversial citizenship opportunity for illegals.

The anticipated Senate passage on the two issues either Thursday or Friday will result in the bill heading for the House, with Obama saying the bill needs to be passed before the summer break.

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