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.