Skip to main content

Immigration Test bill fails key test-vote

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 22 minutes ago

A fragile bipartisan compromise that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants suffered a setback Thursday when it failed a test vote in the Senate, leaving its prospects uncertain.

Still, the measure — a top priority for President Bush that's under attack from the right and left — got a reprieve when Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., said he would give it more time before yanking the bill and moving on to other matters.

"We need to complete this marathon," Reid said.

His decision set the stage for yet another procedural vote later Thursday that will measure lawmakers' appetite for a so-called "grand bargain" between liberals and conservatives on immigration.

By a vote of 33-63, the Senate fell far short of the 60 votes that would have been needed to limit debate on the immigration measure and put it on a path to passage. Republicans — even those who helped craft the measure and are expected to support it — banded together to oppose that move, while a majority of Democrats backed it.

Republicans were seeking assurances they would get chances to add several conservative-backed changes that would toughen the measure.

Proponents in both parties were scrambling to find a way of reversing a blow their compromise sustained earlier Thursday, when the Senate voted to phase out the bill's temporary worker program after five years.

The 49-48 vote just after midnight on making the temporary worker program itself temporary came two weeks after the Senate, also by a one-vote margin, rejected an amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan (news, bio, voting record) to eliminate it entirely from the bill. The North Dakota Democrat says immigrants take many jobs Americans could fill.

Dorgan's success on his second effort dismayed backers of the immigration bill, which is loathed by many conservatives.

The bill would tighten borders, hike penalties for those who hire illegals and give many of the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status.

The Bush administration, along with business interests and their congressional allies, were already angry that the temporary worker program had been cut in half from its original 400,000-person-a-year target.

A five-year sunset, they said, could knock the legs from the precarious bipartisan coalition. The change "is a tremendous problem, but it's correctable," said Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa. Backers will try as early as Thursday to persuade at least one senator to help reverse the outcome yet again, he added.

Congress could block the legalization of millions of unlawful immigrants if it deemed the border too porous under a Republican proposal also slated for a vote Thursday.

An amendment by conservative Sens. Tom Coburn (news, bio, voting record), R-Okla., and Jim DeMint (news, bio, voting record), R-S.C., would require a congressional vote to certify that border security and workplace enforcement "triggers" were in place before the legalization or a new guest worker program could take effect.

It was one of several challenges the measure was facing from across the political spectrum as its backers struggled to steer clear of potentially fatal changes and push it to quick passage.

Until the Dorgan vote was tallied, Specter and other architects of the compromise had succeeded in avoiding a minefield of major challenges, fending off several amendments, including two from Democratic presidential candidates.

Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., lost the vote on his bid to end a new point system for those seeking permanent resident "green cards" after five years rather than 14 years. Also defeated was an amendment from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York to remove limits on visas for the spouses and minor children of immigrants with permanent resident status.

Senators also rejected a proposal by Robert Menendez (news, bio, voting record), D-N.J., that would have boosted the number of immigrants who could get green cards based purely on family ties, rather than having to qualify through education or skill level.

They had turned back a bid to reduce the number of illegal immigrants who could gain lawful status.


Associated Press writer Charles Babington contributed to this report.


Popular posts from this blog

1914 Germany Afrikaner farmer Agreement

thank you Etienne 
translated from Afrikaner to EnglishTo all the people of the white race all over the world, most of all to the German nation: This is an important agreement Concerning the South African Boer people and the German nation. It has to do with an agreement between the Boer rebellion and the German troops in Southwest Africa. The Boer rebellion were lead by leaders of the Afrikaaner nation (General Manie Maritz, General SG Maritz, General Koss Delarey) and who’ll be fought against the English in the Second Anglo-Boer war from 1899 to 1902, where the Afrikaaner nation under hun president In Paul Kruger ulcers completely humiliated by the English when ze ulcers forced to sign the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902. The atrocities committed against the Boers in the Concentration camps ulcers horriffic to say the least, and at least 30 000 Boer women and Children Were driven from hun farms Which Were torched under Lord Kitchener’s Scorched Earth policies. The attached files are an ima…

MS-13 and Los Zetas Drug cartels stealing millions of barrels of oil and taking over control of the drug trade.

Los Zetas vs Ms 13 from Los Zetas is an armed criminal gang that operates as a hired army for the Gulf Cartel. The group is believed to be led by Heriberto “The Executioner” Castanon. Los Zetas, the Ninth CartelTuesday, May 18, 2010 |  Borderland Beat Reporter Buggs

Major pedophile Somali-Muslim sex gang busted in Minnesota and Tennessee.

In a series of arrests carried out Monday morning in the Twin Cities and Nashville, Tennessee, federal and local authorities broke up a human trafficking ring that provided underage prostitutes. A federal indictment unsealed Monday morning in Nashville details the sex trafficking operations of 29 Somali men and women tied to the Somali Outlaws, Somali Mafia and Lady Outlaws gangs, which are all connected and based in Minneapolis. Of the 29 indicted, 12 were arrested Monday morning in the Twin Cities, eight in Nashville and six were already in jail in various locations. Three remain at-large and wanted.MORE

 FBI-2011 National Gang Threat Assessment 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends
view printable version (pdf) The gang estimates presented in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment (NGTA) represent the collection of data provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) through the National Drug Threat Survey, Bureau of Prisons, State Correctional Facilities, …