Senate Judiciary Committee approves immigration bill with bipartisan vote

    WASHINGTON (TIP): In what could be described as a further development in the right direction, the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved far-reaching immigration legislation that gives a chance at citizenship to more than 11 million undocumented workers already living in the country. The 13-5 vote clears the bill for a Senate debate expected to begin in early June.

    Committee approval came after the panel’s chairman sidestepped a showdown on the rights of gay spouses, heeding appeals from the White House and others who feared such a vote could lead to the bill’s demise in the Senate. On a final day of drafting, the panel also agreed to a lastminute compromise covering an increase in the visa program for high-tech workers. The landmark legislation creates new provisions to bring workers here legally and enforce against illegal immigration, as well as creating a path to citizenship for 11 million here illegally.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee approval was greeted with cheers by the supporters of the immigration overhaul. Earlier, on May 16, a bipartisan group in the House working on an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws reached a deal in principle. The group plans to introduce its bill in the House in June.

    It is believed the House legislation will include a path to legalization for more than 11 million undocumented workers already living in the country as well as increased border security measures. With the Senate Judiciary Committee clearing the legislation and the bipartisan House group planning to introduce immigration overhaul bill, the immigration overhaul seems to be heading in the right direction.

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