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Amendments to the Senate Immigration Reform Bill

The Senators responded to the immigration reform bill of the “Gang of Eight” and they have filed 301 amendments. Half of these amendments are from the Senate Republicans and according to them, DNA samples must be collected from the undocumented immigrants before granting them legal status and all the undocumented workers must not be permitted to apply for US citizenship. Moreover, for the Republicans, border security is the top priority.

As there are a lot of amendments to look over, immigration reform debates may continue and the Senate Judiciary Committee will soon consider and begin to vote on the amendments that have been filed. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), has filed 77 amendments and his amendments would permit US citizens to sponsor their same-sex foreign spouses and partners. Nevertheless, the Republicans have stated that they would not support a legislation that includes gay rights.

Around one-third of the amendments were filed by the Democrats and one of the amendments was filed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Patrick J. Leahy. He wants a measure that includes protections for same-sex couples and that would permit same-sex foreign partners to file applications for immigrant visas. An amendment filed by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would permit the victims of domestic violence to obtain US citizenship, under certain circumstances. Likewise, the amendment filed by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein would permit 5,000 Tibetan refugees to immigrate to America, for the next three years.

The Republicans have also filed few heartless amendments, that would prevent undocumented immigrants from becoming US citizens and that would prevent the undocumented immigrants who receive temporary legal status from traveling to their home countries even for humanitarian reasons. Their amendments would also slow down the process and would require the undocumented immigrants to attend in-person interviews before applying for provisional legal status.

Though several amendments have been filed, the eight senators still believe that their bill will be passed. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) stated that the lawmakers have offered suggestions and he also stated that the conservatives are ready to support immigration reform. Nevertheless, the House leaders want to break the bill into smaller pieces but the Democrats and the White House oppose this tactic and they want one large bill.

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