US immigration bill clears Senate hurdle
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Immigrants stand for the national anthem before becoming American citizens at a naturalization ceremony held in New York City. AFP photoA sweeping overhaul of the U.S. immigration system took a major step toward viability May 21 when a Senate panel gave bipartisan approval to a landmark bill offering a path to citizenship for millions.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the contentious and potentially historic legislation by a 13-5 vote, following weeks of marathon hearings and meetings to consider more than 200 amendments. The bill emerged with its core mostly intact, including requirements for major advances in border security, visa programs for high- and low-skilled workers, and expansion of a comprehensive e-verify system for employers.
It needs 60 votes to pass the 100-seat Senate, and would then head to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The legislation, which would legalize more than 11 million undocumented people currently in the shadows and set most of them on a 13-year path to citizenship, is now set for a debate showdown on the Senate floor in June.