Immigration reform bill stalls in Senate after cloture vote fails

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 50-45 [roll call] late Thursday to reject a cloture motion [Senate backgrounder] for the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 [S 1348 summary; JURIST report] Thursday, falling 10 votes short of limiting the debate on the legislation to thirty-hours and restricting the introduction of new amendments. The failure of the motion, supported by senators who wanted to push the legislation through a vote, was described by some observers as a "collapse" of the bill. The Senate will have the next few weeks to work on the legislation, or shelve it until the Senate returns from its August recess.

The latest setback for the immigration bill follows the Senate's approval of a five-year limit [JURIST report] on a proposed Y-1 temporary guest worker visa program. In May, senators trimmed the proposed temporary guest worker program [JURIST report] from its previous maximum limit of 600,000 guest workers a year to 200,000. The proposal had received bipartisan criticism [JURIST report] for being too large. Opponents of the immigration reform bill say it amounts to "amnesty" for up to 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, and others have objected to restrictions on the right of legal immigrants to bring their families to the US. On Saturday, President George W. Bush renewed the White House's push for passage [JURIST report] of the bill, defending the proposal from criticism that it amounts to "amnesty" by insisting it brings consequences for those who enter the US illegally. The New York Times has more. The Washington Post has additional coverage.



 

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