Obama urges House to ‘finish the job’.
By American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: As expected, the United States Senate approved the comprehensive immigration bill 68-32 Thursday, meeting an informal deadline by President Obama.
The bill drafted by a bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, received support from 14 Republican and two independent senators. All 52 Democratic senators voted yes.
Among the key provisions of the bill is charting a pathway to legalization and eventual citizenship for the nation’s more than 11 million undocumented immigrants. To gain Republican support, the bill also has strong border security measures.
Another important provision of the bill is an increase in the annual H-1B visa cap, a longstanding demand of the U.S. tech industry. However, the bill also has restrictions on companies that depend on H-1B and L-1 temporary worker visas.
The bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it faces stiff resistance. Republican leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner, is on record saying that the chamber will not pass the Senate version of the bill. The Republican caucus in the House is set to meet July 10 to discuss the bill.
Obama welcomed the passage of the bill. In a press release, the president said the vote brings “us a critical step closer to fixing our broken immigration system once and for all.”
The president said, “The bipartisan bill that passed today was a compromise. By definition, nobody got everything they wanted. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not me. But the Senate bill is consistent with the key principles for commonsense reform that I – and many others – have repeatedly laid out.”
Obama urged the House to pass the bill. “We have a unique opportunity to fix our broken system in a way that upholds our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants,” he said. “We just need Congress to finish the job.”