I've been pretty cautious in my predictions regarding movement of the priority date bill in the Senate despite its relatively easy passage in the House last night by a 20 to 1 margin. That's because the Senate tends to move slowly, filibuster rules raise the threshhold for how many votes are needed and a single Senator can place roadblocks in front of legislation without having to have a particularly good reason. Nevertheless, the NY Times reports this morning:
The bill seemed likely to pass easily in the Senate, said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a leading Democrat on immigration.
In light of the comments from my last post on 3012 by those upset about not dealing with DREAM and other bills dealing with illegal immigration, a couple of quotes from the Times story are interesting.
Mr. Chaffetz said he had tried to find a sweet spot, even if small, where lawmakers from both parties could come together to fix the legal immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken. The bill does not address illegal immigration, nor does it add any new visas to the system, which many Republicans, including Mr. Smith, are reluctant to do.
“I campaigned in Utah on the idea that we can never solve our illegal immigration woes without fixing legal immigration,” Mr. Chaffetz said Tuesday.
I'm not sure I agree that we can't work on both issues simultaneously, but this is better than rhetoric we typically hear on the right that simply say "enforce, enforce, enforce."
It's also interesting that some of the biggest sopporters of measures helping illegally present immigrants sided with 3012.
Joining as sponsors were several Democrats who are outspoken liberals on immigration, including Representatives Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois and Zoe Lofgren of California.
Mr. Gutierrez said: “We need bigger fixes to our legal immigration system so that employers and families use official channels, not black-market ones. We want people to go through the system, not around it.”