Senate to Vote on Resuming Immigration Debate

June 20th, 2007

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to file for cloture on a motion to proceed on the newly reintroduced Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act (S. 1639) on Wednesday, which would result in a new round of extensive debates over comprehensive immigration reform. The cloture motion needs 60 votes to pass before the Senate can resume the amendment process.  If the motion passes, the Senate could then work over the weekend to vote on a negotiated 20-24 amendments, to be followed next week by a vote on final passage.  There is no list available yet on these amendments, but it has been reported that each party will be limited to 10-12 amendments.

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), introduced S. 1639 on June 18, 2007.  It contains the provisions originally included in the “grand bargain” substitute amendment (SA 1150) to S. 1348, which was amended during the last round of debates on the Senate floor. S. 1639 also would provide $4.4 billion to DHS for use in meeting the trigger requirements set forth in the bill (the conditions that must be met before the Z visa holders can apply for legal permanent residency).