Thursday, June 07, 2007

Family Amendments Blocked in Senate

Two amendments to the Senate immigration bill supporting family unification failed yesterday after opponents of the amendments raised a point of order. The Menendez Amendment (#1194) would have moved the cutoff date for those currently in the backlog awaiting green cards from May 2005 to January 2007.

Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) raised a budget point of order, which requires 60 votes to waive and the amendment fell by a vote of 53 in favor and 44 opposed. A alternative amendment introduced by Senator John Kyl (#1460) passed by a vote of 51 in favor and 45 opposed.

"Make no mistake, this new amendment is merely smoke and mirrors," Senator Menendez (D-NJ) said. "With a vague definition of who is eligible and without an increase in visas to accommodate the additional applicants, hundreds of thousands of family members of American citizens and legal residents who were going through a legal process will be kicked out of line and put behind those who broke the law," he said. >For full press release click here.

A budget point of order was also raised against the Clinton Amendment (#1183), which would have reclassified the spouses and minor children of LPRs as "immediate relatives" thus exempting them from visa caps. The motion to waive the budget point of order failed by a vote of 44 in favor and 53 opposed. >To check how your member voted click here. A vote of "yea" indicates that your Senator wanted to move forward with a vote on the amendment.