Immigration – Senate Passes Immigration Reform Legislation

The Senate voted 68-43 to pass S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act and sent it to the House.  All Senate Democrats voted for the bill as did 14 Republican Senators.  Republican support was strengthened by passage of an amendment sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) that would add $30 billion in spending on border security.  The bill also received a boost when the Congressional Budget Office determined it would reduce the deficit by almost $200 billion over the next decade and by $700 billion over the second decade.

So far, the House has taken a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.  The Judiciary Committee has approved four separate bills (H.R. 1773, H.R. 1772, H.R. 2278, and H.R. 2131) while the “gang of seven” continues to work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that any immigration legislation must be supported by a majority of Republicans in the House.