It has come under attack from the right and left, with conservatives arguing it will give amnesty to people who broke U.S. laws and unions saying the temporary worker program will create an underclass of cheap laborers.
By Donna Smith
Tue Jun 5, 7:20 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday accused Democrats of trying to rush a vote on immigration reform, casting doubt on the fate of the White House-backed bill that would tighten border security and legalize millions of illegal immigrants.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wanted to close debate on the bill by this week's end despite Republicans' objections, which could doom the fragile compromise legislation that backers say would help fix a broken immigration system through which millions of illegal immigrants have slipped into the United States.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (news, bio, voting record) of Kentucky said his fellow Republicans had a number of amendments they wanted considered before voting on the bill.
But Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said Republicans were stalling.*
"What we have heard today are buzzwords for 'this bill is going nowhere,"' Reid said in a Senate floor exchange with McConnell.
Reid said he planned to set a Senate vote for Thursday on his motion to limit debate, and it was unclear with Republican objections that it would garner the 60 votes needed in the 100-member chamber to advance the bill toward passage.
Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican who helped broker the bill, said cutting off debate "would be a big mistake" that could "risk the bill not passing at all."
The bill, worked out by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House, ties tough border security and workplace enforcement measures to a guest-worker program and a plan to legalize the millions of immigrants.
Senator Reid is either lying or living in fantasyland. According to the mainstream media the so-called Republicans are being deluged with vitriolic calls to not let this bill go anywhere. Therefore, we urge our listeners to continue calling faxing and emailing their representatives. For the sake of our posterity and the effectiveness of future activism on behalf of our people, this bill needs to die on the senate floor. -- Frank Roman, EAU