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Immigration Reform Takes an Important Step Forward

Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT)

While most of the media has focused on scandals and tornadoes, the Senate has taken the unusual step of actually getting some real work down using regular order. Late yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee finished mark up on the immigration reform bill and approved it on a vote of 13 to 5.

The bill received the support of all ten Democrats on the committee plus three Republicans, Lindsey Graham (SC), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Orin Hatch (UT). Democrats were able to get Hatch’s conditional support by reaching a compromise on high-tech visas.

While Graham and Flake were originally part of the Gang of Eight, Hatch’s support is an important new development. The growing bipartisan support for the bill is a good sign the legislation will eventually clear the Senate by a healthy margin.

Another positive sign for the legislation is that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow the bill to come to the floor for a full debate while saying positive things about the legislation. McConnell will not try to engage in any procedural actions to delay or stop the measure’s consideration.

Of course the Senate has always seen as the easier of the two chambers for immigration reform. In the House a bipartisan group is still trying to write their own immigration bill, but so far have failed to come to a final agreement.

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Immigration Reform Takes an Important Step Forward

Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT)

While most of the media has focused on scandals and tornadoes, the Senate has taken the unusual step of actually getting some real work down using regular order. Late yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee finished mark up on the immigration reform bill and approved it in a vote of 13 to 5.

The bill received the support of all ten Democrats on the committee plus three Republicans, Lindsey Graham (SC), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Orin Hatch (UT). Democrats were able to get Hatch’s conditional support by reaching a compromise on high-tech visas.

While Graham and Flake were originally part of the Gang of Eight, Hatch’s support is an important new development. The growing bipartisan support for the bill is a good sign the legislation will eventually clear the Senate by a healthy margin.

Another positive sign for the legislation is that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow the bill to come to the floor for a full debate while saying positive things about the legislation. McConnell will not try to engage in any procedural actions to delay or stop the measure’s consideration.

Of course the Senate has always seen as the easier of the two chambers for immigration reform. In the House a bipartisan group is still trying to write their own immigration bill, but so far have failed to come to a final agreement.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com