BREAKING: Sen Judiciary Committee Passes Gang of 8 Immigration Bill

Chuck Schumer’s bill is moving ahead. Earlier today, we learned that Sen. Orrin Hatch would vote for it. From MS-NBC:

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, long considered a Republican swing vote on the 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Tuesday night that he will vote the comprehensive immigration reform bill out of committee after the panel approved language relaxing restrictions on employers seeking to hire foreign workers for high-tech jobs. But he cautioned that he may vote against the bill on Senate floor if other changes to the legislation are not made.

Here’s my favorite part of the MS-NBC story:

Earlier Tuesday, the committee voted down an amendment proposed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would have stripped out the Gang of Eight’s foundational principle that qualified undocumented immigrants to the United States should be eligible to work towards full citizenship.  The amendment failed 5-13 , with Hatch joining Gang of Eight Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham in voting with Democrats against the measure. Cruz, discussed as a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said the inclusion of the path to citizenship would “only encourage others to violate the law.” The Tea Party-affiliated senator added that, if the pathway remains in the bill, the reform effort will be voted down in the Republican-controlled House. That assertion was flatly rejected by Schumer, who retorted that “if we don’t have a path to citizenship, there is no reform.” Another Cruz-sponsored amendment that would have made undocumented immigrants ineligible for means-tested federal benefits failed 6-12.   Hatch voted in support of that measure.

Oh great. We wouldn’t want them to be ineligible for benefits, would we? This is not good news. I think it’s time to ramp up the pressure on our representatives.

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