Senators from both parties have filed more than 300 amendments to a bipartisan immigration bill that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
Roughly two-thirds of the proposals put forward on Tuesday were from Republican lawmakers, including measures to give Congress more authority over border security, require DNA samples from illegal immigrants, and reduce the number of undocumented workers allowed to pursue citizenship, reports The Washington Post.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will start considering the amendments Thursday, and hearings on the 844-page bill drafted by the so-called Gang of Eight are expected to last for weeks.
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the committee, told the Post, “This debate should be thoughtful and thorough. It will be arduous, and it ought to be deliberate. Legislation of this magnitude should be carefully considered and the consequences thought through.”
Sponsors of the legislation remain confident that it will survive the amendment process. Sen. Marco Rubio told the Post that most of the proposals “raise legitimate points and suggestions on how to improve the bill.”
“The good news is that ... most conservatives are ready to support immigration reform, so long as it takes serious steps to prevent another wave of illegal immigration in the future,” said the Florida Republican.
Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy has said he hopes the committee can vote on the bill by the end of this month, which could send it to the floor for a full Senate vote as early as June.
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