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Senate Passes Historic Immigration Reform Bill
- 06/29/2013 10:13 AM EDT Politics
Immigration reform has been a rare issue in 2012: one that both parties, at least in theory, agree we need. Obama brought it up as a second-term priority in his 2013 State of the Union address, saying "Let's get it done." And after their candidate, Mitt Romney, lost severely among Hispanic voters, Republican leadership identified immigration reform as a priority, to aid their party's chances in 2016.
And now, after months of debate, including the consideration of around 300 amendments, the bill took a big step closer to becoming law. If it actually passes, it would create a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people living in the country, and also seriously beef up security along the Southern US border with Mexico.
But, passage of the bill beyond the Senate is anything but a done deal. Speaker of the Republican-dominated House, John Boehner, reiterated today that the House would not vote on the Senate's bill. Boehner said:
"Apparently some haven't gotten the message: The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes."
Optimists have voiced the opinion that bipartisan support, both in the Senate and among voters, is so high, that enough Republicans may join with Democrats to make Boehner walk back his disapproval. But that's far from a sure thing.