Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
After multiple attempts by Tea Party senators to add "poison pill" amendments to kill the bill -- all defeated -- there was a death-defying friendly amendment offered yesterday by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to treat gay partners equally under federal law for immigration purposes. Tea-Publicans howled that this was a deal breaker, and Sen. Leahy eventually withdrew his amendment.
Of course, Advocates were outraged at lack of LGBT protection in immigration bill. This is a timing problem. This bill needs to move forward in the Senate now. The U.S. Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) until June. Should the Court strike down DOMA, as most court observers anticipate, it would remove the obstacle to treating gay partners equally under federal law. The immigration bill will still be going through the "sausage making" process, and may be amended to respond to any Supreme Court ruling. Patience and perseverance are virtues in the "sausage making" process.
So it is good news that the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved its final mark-up of the comprehensive immigration reform bill on a vote of 13 to 5. Senate panel approves sweeping immigration reform bill:
After five days of debate over dozens of amendments, the Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 5 in support of the bill, with three Republicans joining the committee’s 10 Democrats. The legislation emerged with its core provisions largely intact, including new visa programs for high-tech and low-skilled workers and new investments in strengthening border control.
“The dysfunction in our current immigration system affects all of us and it is long past time for reform. I hope that our history, our values, and our decency can inspire us finally to take action,” committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said. “We need an immigration system that lives up to American values and helps write the next great chapter in American history by reinvigorating our economy and enriching our communities.”