What an amazing day! The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to fix our broken system and give immigrants a chance at the American dream. I feel so thankful to God and to all who have fought so long and hard, including me! The New York times wrote an excellent piece you can click on below to read in its entirety.
Remember, now that we won a huge round, this fight is far from over. The House is much more divided, and the enemies of reform will try to stop reform in the House. We must fight harder than ever now to ensure the House knows that 70% of Americans support this bill! We all must continue to act with a sense of desperation and cannot take this victory for granted. Read more below on the Senate vote. What an amazing day to be an American.
The Senate on Thursday approved the most significant overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws in a generation with broad bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Republican-controlled House, where there is significant opposition from conservative members and where the fight could extend into 2014. But given the strong 68-to-32 vote, with 14 Republicans voting in favor, the Democratic leadership and the bipartisan group of eight senators who drafted the original bill seemed determined to savor the moment. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. presided over the vote as senators announced their positions from their desks, in a ceremonial procedure reserved for special occasions.
Leading up to the vote, many in the “Gang of Eight” that drafted the framework of the legislation took to the Senate floor to give impassioned speeches, including Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who is one of his party’s leading Hispanic voices. When Mr. Rubio finished, the other senators in the bipartisan group surrounded him on the floor, patting him on the back and offering words of encouragement. “Good job,” said one. “I’m proud of you,” said another.
During the vote, Mr. Rubio buttoned his suit jacket as he stood and said “aye.” Later, as Mr. Rubio walked around the Senate floor receiving congratulations, he passed by the pages sitting on the steps just below the podium and called out, “You picked a good day to be here.”
The Senate bill provides a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country, as well as tough border security provisions that must be in place before the immigrants can gain legal status.
Though overhauling the nation’s immigration system became a priority for many Republicans after the 2012 presidential election, in which the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, was rejected by Hispanic voters, immigration opponents have mounted last-ditch efforts to derail the bill, which they say would offer amnesty without any real enforcement measures.
As the bill heads to the House, Republican elites and their well-financed pro-immigration groups are running up against opposition from the chamber’s most conservative members. Speaker John A. Boehner threw cold water on any hope that the House would vote on the Senate plan, and he insisted that whatever immigration measure his chamber took up would have to be supported by a majority of his Republican conference.