Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New 'D' (for Debate) Day: Monday May 15

Advocates in Washington report that the Senate is aiming to start debating immigration proposals starting next Monday May 15. Staffers in Senate offices are telling everyone that the proposals will move forward although the procedures still need to be worked out.

Senators want to minimize any re-writing of the last proposal (the Hagel-Martinez compromise from before Easter recess), so they are hoping to make any changes through amendments directly to the floor. Democratic Senator Reid has proposed voting on 20 amendments total (10 for each party) although its unclear if the Republicans have agreed to this. The Republicans are considering some new approaches that they'll most likely add through the amendment process.

A group of immigrant rights advocates (i.e. Immigration Legal Resource Center, the National Immigration Project) wrote a substitute for the Title II (enforcement) provisions of the bill to take some of the sharpest teeth out of the legislation. The substitute would strike some sections and ameliorate others. It still needs Congressional support.

If the Senate doesn't get anything passed by Memorial Day weekend, they'll be too busy to discuss immigration reform again this year (especially with mid-term elections in November).


Call your Senator (202-224-3121) and express concern about the compromise bill. Say that you oppose the enforcement measures and hidden traps in the bill but that you suppport earned legalization for ALL undocumented immigrants. Tell them to vote FOR the Brownback-Lieberman amendment on detention.