U.S. Immigration Reform Bill Passes Major Test

U.S. Immigration Reform bill architects Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Oklahoma) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) greet former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. (Google Images)

U.S. Immigration Reform bill architects Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Oklahoma) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) greet former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. (Google Images)

CBS News is reporting that far-reaching legislation to grant a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a solid bipartisan vote Tuesday night after supporters somberly sidestepped a controversy over the rights of gay spouses.

The 13-5 vote cleared the way for an epic showdown on the Senate floor on the measure, which is one of President Obama’s top domestic priorities yet also gives the Republican Party a chance to recast itself as more appealing to minorities.

The committee’s action sparked rejoicing from immigration activists who crowded into a Senate committee room to witness the proceedings. “Yes, we can!” they shouted as they clapped rhythmically to show their pleasure.

In a statement, Mr. Obama applauded the committee’s action and said the bill was “largely consistent with the principles of common-sense reform I have proposed and meets the challenge of fixing our broken immigration system” — though he said there’s still room for improvement.

This bill will create a pathway to citizenship for 11.5 million immigrants.

To read more about this story, visit CBS News. To read about the negative impact of the U.S. Immigrant Reform Bill on African and Caribbean immigration, click here.

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