I want to extend a special thanks to all of you whose calls and letters helped spur yesterday’s landmark vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Their passage of the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, S.744, is your victory!
The committee’s vote to pass S.744 marks a major bipartisan advance towards a more fair and welcoming set of immigration laws. This is a huge step towards what the majority of Americans are calling for: immigration reform that keeps families together and offers a roadmap to earned citizenship—because family unity is vital to our congregations and communities, and because reform is smart for our economy and country.
The committee’s 13-5 vote, which followed three weeks of mark-up and the approval of more than 100 of some 300 amendments, means that S.744 (The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act) will now go to the full Senate for consideration.
A number of amendments to S.744 that were adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee will improve the treatment of unaccompanied children, strengthen protections for those detained for immigration purposes, and offer more fair and efficient processes for refugees and asylum seekers.
For a detailed look at the amendments taken up by the committee, as well as in-depth information on parts of S.744 dealing with the roadmap to citizenship, humane enforcement, family unity, protection for vulnerable migrants, and protection for workers, see LIRS’s in-depth analyses.
One other important note: We were strongly encouraged by the committee members’ vocal support for Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)’s attempts to improve the opportunities for immigrant families to reunite. Although only one of the senator’s two amendments offered on May 21 relating to family unity was adopted, we will continue to work with lawmakers to improve the bill’s treatment of immigrant families.
For the latest on the legislative process on Capitol Hill, see the LIRS blog series “Immigration Reform 2013: The Update.”
Again, this victory would not have been possible without your lifted voice. Thank you for your commitment to Stand for Welcome, and for everything you’re doing in your community to push forward towards fair and compassionate immigration reform!