Washington: US senators have signalled their support to a landmark comprehensive immigration bill as they voted 67-27 to advance a border security amendment to the legislation.
The amendment paves the way for the final passage of the bill later this week, which if signed into law would provide path to citizenship to some 11 million illegal immigrants, besides faster citizenship to legal migration. But, the amendment maintains the killer provisions too that would badly hit Indian companies due to certain provisions related to H-1B visas.
Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Patrick Leahy, called for bipartisan support to the bill. The bipartisan immigration reform bill pending in the Senate will unite families and provide a legal pathway to citizenship for millions of individuals, he said.
"It is a vote in favour of taking the bold steps needed to confront the current situation and give the many millions of people living in the shadows the opportunity to come in to the lawful immigration system. Now is the time for this body to come together in support of fixing a broken immigration system that hurts all of us," said Leahy.
The Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who is the former Speaker in House of Representatives, said the US Senate on Monday acted in a bipartisan way to move the country one step closer to achieving commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform.
"As the Senate completes passage of its immigration reform bill, the House must also come together in a bipartisan way to enact legislation that secures our borders, protects our workers, unites families, and offers an earned pathway to citizenship," she said.
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations(AFL CIO) president Richard Trumka said building a common sense immigration system that will allow millions of aspiring Americans to become citizens is a top priority for the labor movement in 2013.
"The Senate immigration bill represents an important step toward building such a system even though it has become less inclusive, less compassionate and less just since it emerged in April as the Gang of Eight's bipartisan compromise," he added. At least 15 Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic side to end debate on the all-important amendment.