Senate Judiciary Committee members Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. confer on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013, as the committee assembled to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions. The panel is aiming to pass the legislation out of committee this week, setting up a high-stakes debate on the Senate floor. (AP)
- Dec 9:
- Legislador en EEUU apoyará visas para inmigrantes
- Nov 12:
- Activistas ayunan por reforma migratoria EEUU
- Oct 11:
- Piden más asilo mexicanos provenientes de "Tierra Caliente", muchos son procedentes de Michoacan
- Sep 13:
- Reforma migratoria impactaría economía de todo Colorado
- Aug 29:
- EEUU: Ex gerente admite que contrató a migrantes
- Aug 28:
- EEUU: Reforma migratoria da esperanza a familias
- Empresarios abogan por reforma de inmigración
- Aug 26:
- Bennet, Gardner see different paths to immigration reform
- Aug 3:
- Rostros por la reforma migratoria
- Aug 1:
- Coffman aborda la reforma ante hispanos en iglesia de Aurora
- Coffman pulls away from rest of Colorado GOP on immigration
- Jul 23:
- Republicanos contra legalizar a padres de "dreamers"
- Jul 18:
- Reforma migratoria atascada en el Congreso
- Jul 8:
- Former President Bush says immigration-reform bill can pass
- Jul 7:
- 2 years after immigration laws, Georgia and Alabama stable
- Senadores del Gang de los Ocho cuentan sus historias
- Jul 6:
- Hispanos contra inmigración ilegal son muy poquitos
- Jul 5:
- Udall y Bennet, senadores de Colorado, piden apoyo a la reforma migratoria
- Arduo Camino hacia la reforma migratoria
- Jul 1:
- Senate passes Sen. Marco Rubio's gamble
- Jun 27:
- Senado votará en histórico proyecto de reforma migratoria
- Senate passes historic immigration bill
- Jun 18:
- DREAM Act: Para los "dreamers" se abren nuevos horizontes
- Jun 12:
- Border security at issue in immigration bill
- Jun 5:
- EEUU: Escepticismo tras debatir reforma migratoria
- Senate immigration bill undergoing changes to gain more GOP support
- May 30:
- Zuckerberg's big step into politics is pushing tech friends away
- May 23:
- Critican en Cámara baja proyecto migratorio Senado
- Poll: Most back 'path to citizenship' in immigration legislation
- Connecticut's House of Representatives approves drivers licenses for immigrants
- May 22:
- EEUU: Comisión de Senado avala reforma migratoria
- May 16:
- Advocates tout immigration reform in Aspen
- May 8:
- Colo. House passes immigrant licenses
- May 1:
- Colorado pone fin a norma antiinmigrante
- Apr 24:
- Congressional immigration debate signals big shift
- Apr 18:
- Vegas family spotlighted in immigration reform
- Apr 17:
- Criticism of immigration bill from left and right
- Apr 12:
- Reforma migratoria llega al ring
- Apr 11:
- Comité del Senado aprueba licencia para inmigrantes, falta el si de la cámara alta
- Jornaleros en la mira de la reforma migratoria
- Apr 7:
- Declarar impuestos será requisito en caso de una reforma migratoria
- Apr 4:
- Tropieza licencia de conducir para inmigrantes en Colorado
- Mar 29:
- Reforma Migratoria: las 'Dreamers Moms' se mueven por sus hijos
- Mar 28:
- Mark Zuckerberg, creador de Facebook impulsa reforma migratoria
- Mar 27:
- McCain, other US senators to tour Mexico border
- Mar 23:
- Senators close in on immigration deal
- Mar 20:
- Reforma migratoria: Radio KPFK 90.7 FM de Los Angeles hablará en español
- Mar 14:
- Udall: Podemos pasar una reforma migratoria este año
- Mar 9:
- Aprueban en Colorado matrículas bajas a migrantes
- Mar 8:
- Colorado immigrant tuition rate gets final approval
- George Prescott Bush podría acercar a hispanos y republicanos
- Mar 7:
- Highway changes for undocumented immigrants are in the works
- ¿Qué es una "frontera segura"?
- Mar 6:
- Senate Republicans sell immigration plan to House
- McCain promueve reforma de inmigración
- Mar 4:
- Juntos pero no revueltos: 'dreamers' y activistas
- Mar 1:
- What does a 'secure' border look like?
- Feb 28:
- Evangélicos promueven reforma migratoria
- Feb 27:
- Republicanos abiertos a naturalización inmigrantes
- DHS official resigns after immigrants are freed
- Republicanos modifican estrategia sobre migración
- Feb 26:
- Colorado GOP shows shifting immigrant tuition stance
- Undocumented farm workers to D.C.: A little would do a lot
- Feb 25:
- McCain prevé en México reforma migratoria en EEUU
- Feb 22:
- Propuesta migratoria priorizaría empleo sobre familia
- Feb 21:
- Green cards for sale from U.S. developers
- Labor, business reach agreement on outline of immigration plan
- Movilización masiva por una reforma migratoria
- Líderes religiosos piden un proceso de ciudadanía de siete años
- Feb 19:
- McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents
- Familias buscan alivio en ley de inmigración
- Families look for relief from immigration bill
- Feb 18:
- Asesora de Obama en inmigración ve reforma cerca
- Obama immigration aide seeks to finish journey
- Obama offering immigration plan as backup
- Feb 14:
- Colorado evangelicals cite Bible as they embrace immigration reform
- Obama takes range of questions in Google chat
- Feb 13:
- Más hijos de inmigrantes son demócratas
- Coffman afirma en Aurora que ahora favorece legalización de inmigrantes
- Coffman tells Aurora crowd he favors legal status for immigrants
- Feb 12:
- Obama al Congreso: envíenme reforma migratoria
- Obama on immigration: 'Let's get this done'
- Dreamers piden a Rubio que favorezca ciudadanía
- Feb 11:
- Conservadores a favor de reforma impulsan debate
- Feb 7:
- Obama busca apoyo de senadores en inmigración
- Feb 4:
- Dirigentes cristiano-evangélicos respaldan gestiones a favor de la reforma inmigratoria
- Congresista Coffman propone aceptar a ciertos indocumentados en las fuerzas armadas
- Jan 31:
- Where Does Line for Citizenship Begin?
- Undocumented immigration foes despair over GOP moves
- Redada en Greeley es recordada con temor
- Jan 30:
- House members negotiate a proposal on immigration
- Mexico stays on the sidelines in immigration reform debate
- Jan 29:
- Immigration overhaul? GOP, Dem senators vow action
- Obama: "Llegó la hora" de la reforma migratoria
- Grupo bipartidista de senadores promete actuar sobre migración
- Obama launches push for immigration overhaul
- Jan 28:
- Details of the Senate immigration proposal
- Senadores: Legalización de inmigrantes inmediata
- Preparan marcha a favor de inmigrantes en EEUU
- Immigration overhaul? GOP, Dem senators vow action
- Arizona reform advocates hail immigration reform
- EEUU: Reforma migratoria incluiría naturalización
- Acuerdo en Senado de EEUU sobre leyes inmigración
- Jan 23:
- Estados Unidos siente impacto de programa de deportación
- Jan 15:
- Smith: Difícil Congreso apruebe reforma migratoria
- Jan 4:
- lndocumentados temen solicitar licencias en Illinois
- Some undocumented immigrants fear applying for licenses
- Dec 17:
- EEUU: Menos pedidos de suspensión de deportaciones
- Dec 12:
- Colorado desarrolla acción bipartidaria a favor de la reforma inmigratoria
- Dec 10:
- Colorado desarrolla acción bipartidaria a favor de la reforma inmigratoria
- Editorial: Colorado's diverse voices on immigration
- Dec 9:
- Colorado steps to bipartisan forefront in immigration reform
- Dec 6:
- Leyes de cooperación entre policía e inmigración resultan costosas para Colorado
- Dec 5:
- Study shows immigration reporting law has high cost for Colorado
- Dec 4:
- Bush: inmigrantes llenan vacío en mercado laboral
- Nov 28:
- Republicanos proponen plan para inmigrantes
- EEUU busca atraer empresarios extranjeros
- High-skill green cards get lame-duck push in Congress
- Nov 27:
- Mexico's Pena Nieto wants to help U.S. overhaul immigration
- Nov 23:
- House to consider limited GOP immigration bill
- Nov 14:
- Obama: Immigration reform to start early next year
- Obama: reforma migratoria pronto al Congreso
- Nov 13:
- Editorial: Moving forward on immigration
- Nov 12:
- Colorado Dems push for immigration reform and DREAM Act
- Nov 11:
- Senadores de EEUU proponen reforma migratoria
WASHINGTON (AP) - Far-reaching legislation that grants a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a solid bipartisan vote Tuesday night after supporters somberly sidestepped a controversy over the rights of gay spouses.
The 13-5 vote cleared the way for an epic showdown on the Senate floor on legislation that is one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities - yet also gives the Republican Party a chance to recast itself as more appealing to minorities.
The action sparked rejoicing from immigration activists who crowded into a Senate committee room to witness the proceedings. "Yes, we can! Si, se puede" they shouted, reprising the campaign cry from Obama's first run for the White House in 2008.
In addition to creating a pathway to citizenship for 11.5 million immigrants, the legislation creates a new program for low-skilled foreign labor and would permit highly skilled workers into the country at far higher levels than is currently the case.
At the same time, it requires the government to take costly new steps to guard against future illegal immigration.
In a statement, Obama said the measure is "largely consistent with the principles of common-sense reform I have proposed and meets the challenge of fixing our broken immigration system."
There was suspense to the end of the committee's deliberations, when Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who serves as chairman, sparked a debate over his proposal to give same-sex and heterosexual spouses equal rights under immigration law.
"I don't want to be the senator who asks people to choose between the love of their life and the love of their country," he said, adding he wanted to hear from others on the committee.
In response, he heard a chorus of pleas from the bill's supporters, seconding private appeals from the White House, not to force a vote that they warned would lead to the collapse of Republican support and the bill's demise.
"I believe in my heart of hearts that what you're doing is the right and just thing," said one, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "But I believe this is the wrong moment, that this is the wrong bill."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who has played a central role in advancing the legislation, said he would have voted against the proposal if Leahy had pressed the case - a defection that would have caused it to fail on a tie.
In the hours leading to a final vote, the panel also agreed to a last-minute compromise covering an increase in the visa program for high-tech workers, a deal that brought Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah over to the ranks of supporters.
Under the compromise, the number of highly skilled workers admitted to the country would rise from 65,000 annually to 110,000, with the possibility of a further increase to 180,000, depending in part on unemployment levels.
Firms where foreign labor accounts for at least 15 percent of the skilled work force would be subjected to tighter conditions than companies less dependent on H-IB visa holders.
The compromise was negotiated by Hatch, whose state is home to a growing high tech industry, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. It is designed to balance the interests of industry, which relies increasingly on skilled foreign labor, and organized labor, which represents American workers.
AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka attacked the deal sharply as "anti-worker," although he also made clear organized labor would continue to support the overall legislation.
Robert Hoffman, senior vice president for government affairs at the Information Technology Industry Council, welcomed the deal. "We obviously want to keep moving the bill forward and building support for the legislation, and this agreement allows us to do so," he said.
The issue of same-sex spouses hovered in the background from the start, and as the committee neared the end of its work, officials said Leahy had been informed that both the White House and Senate Democrats hoped he would not risk the destruction of months of painstaking work by putting the issue to a vote.
"There have been 300 amendments. Why shouldn't we have one more?" he told reporters at one point, hours before called the committee into session for a final time to debate the legislation.
A few hours later, Republicans and Democrats both answered his question bluntly.
"This would fracture the coalition. I could not support the bill," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was a member of the bipartisan so-called Gang of Eight that drafted the core elements of the bill.
Republicans and Democrats alike also noted that the Supreme Court may soon issue a ruling that renders the controversy moot.
In a statement issued after Leahy's action, Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said his group was "extremely disappointed that our allies did not put their anti-LGBT colleagues on the spot and force a vote on the measure that remains popular with the American people."
The issue is certain to re-emerge when the full Senate debates the legislation, although it is doubtful that sponsors can command the 60 votes that will be needed to make it part of the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will bring the legislation to the Senate floor early next month for a debate that some aides predict could consume a month or more, with an outcome that is impossible to predict.
The fate of immigration legislation in the House is even less clear, although it is due to receive a hearing in the Judiciary Committee there on Wednesday.
Despite the concern that bipartisan support for the legislation was fragile, there was no doubting the command over committee proceedings that Senate backers held.
In a final reminder, an attempt by Sen. Ted Cruz., R-Texas, to delete the pathway to citizenship failed on a 13-5 vote.
In defeat, he and others said they, too, wanted to overhaul immigration law, but not the way that drafters of the legislation had done.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, recalled that he had voted to give "amnesty" to those in the country illegally in 1986, the last time Congress passed major immigration legislation. He said that bill, like the current one, promised to crack down on illegal immigration, but said it had failed to do so.
"No one disputes that this bill is legalization first, enforcement later. And, that's just unacceptable to me and to the American people," he said shortly before the vote.
The centerpiece provision of the legislation allows an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally to obtain "registered provisional immigrant status" six months after enactment if certain conditions are also met.
Applicants must have arrived in the United States before Dec. 31, 2011, and maintained continuous physical presence, must not have a felony conviction of more than two misdemeanors on their record, and pay a $500 fine.
The registered provisional immigrant status lasts six years and is renewable for another $500. After a decade, though, individuals could seek a green card and lawful permanent resident status if they are up to date on their taxes and pay a $1,000 fine and meet other conditions.
Individuals brought to the country as youths would be able to apply for green cards in five years.