Immigration Reform Bill Passes Senate
The federal immigration-reform bill passed the Senate this afternoon, by a vote of 68-32.
Obviously, Arizona's Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, as members of the so-called "Gang of Eight," voted in favor of the bill.
The bill, which calls for providing a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the country, still has a long way to go.
Problem number one is that the House of Representatives exists. Here's part of what House Speaker John Boehner said today in his weekly press briefing:
The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We're going to do our own bill, through regular order, and it'll be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people. For any legislation -- including a conference report -- to pass the House, it's going to have to be a bill that has the support of a majority of our members.
Listen, immigration reform has to be grounded in real border security. That's what the American people believe, and it's a principle that our majority believes in as well. Chairman McCaul's done a good job passing a border security bill. Chairman Goodlatte is doing good work over in the Judiciary Committee.
And if immigration reform is going to work, it's essential that the American people have the confidence that it's being done correctly. That's how the House will approach this issue.
Some of the Republicans' apprehensions to the Senate bill was that border security wasn't strong enough in the bill, so the Senate approved a $38 billion amendment that's supposed to double the number of border agents and increase fencing. Governor Jan Brewer voiced her support for that amendment, which confused many people into thinking she was endorsing the entire bill, which she has since assured everyone that she doesn't.
A good outline of what's actually in the bill has been assembled by the Associated Press, which shows you how many hoops that "pathway to citizenship" actually has.
Watch Vice President Joe Biden announce the vote:
And, if you wanted Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton's two cents:
"Thank you to our Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake for working hard in a bipartisan way toward comprehensive immigration reform. Along with the Gang of Eight they fought for better border security and a pathway to citizenship that will allow families to stay together and our economy to grow. But we must keep the momentum going -- our representatives in the House have a lot of bipartisan work to do, and Phoenix needs them to act. No region in the country will benefit more economically from passage of comprehensive immigration reform and the Dream Act than ours."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.