An immigration overhaul coming from a bipartisan coalition within the Senate now faces three weeks of debate on the floor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expects that it will come to a vote prior to the July 4 session break. If all 54 Democrats in the Senate vote for the bill, which is unlikely, the "Gang of 8" putting forward the over 800-page legislation would still need the support of upwards of six Republicans to prevent a filibuster. If passed in the Senate, the immigration reform package will face an uphill battle for passage in the House.
The legislation marks the first major set of reforms to immigration policy since President Ronald Reagan's administration. It lays out a pathway to citizenship for those in the United States illegally now, tighter border security regulations, and processes to open up legal entry into the country for more families and workers. Those who oppose the bill worry that it lacks strict enough border control and grants too much amnesty to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US.
President Obama has urged Congress to work together to produce a bill before summer's end. He addressed the topic in his weekly radio address Saturday. "The bill before the Senate isn't perfect," he said. "It's a compromise. Nobody will get everything they want - not Democrats, not Republicans, not me."
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced on "Face the Nation" Sunday, that she will back the bill, calling it "tough but fair" and "a thoughtful bipartisan solution to a tough problem." The Gang of 8 working to drive the legislation through both chambers come from a bipartisan background and are willing to make concessions only "without forsaking our principles."
Media Resources: New York Times 6/9/2013; The Daily Beast 6/10/2013; CNN 6/10/2013; CBS 6/10/2013
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .