The immigration bill that aims to solve America’s unauthorized immigration problem and clogged visa system is almost through the Senate. The only thing left to do is hand out jobs and cash to the contractors who will secure the US-Mexican border with round-the-clock high-tech surveillance.
Tuesday the bill overcame its first procedural hurdle: a vote to bring it up for debate, which passed 82-15. That comfortable margin suggests the bill, after amendments, should muster the 60 votes it’ll need in the Senate to proceed to the consideration of the more skeptical House of Representatives.
The main focus this week is an effort by Republican senator Marco Rubio to make the border security measures in the bill tougher. That will be key to attracting conservative lawmakers, who are leery about giving unauthorized immigrants already in the US a path to legal residency while also expanding and reforming temporary worker visas. Another senator, John Cornyn of Texas, is preparing amendments with even stricter security standards, which many of the bill’s supporters see as an attempt to scupper the bill by making it impractical.