Immigration reform is moving forward. The June 11 vote in the Senate reached 82-15, clearing the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” legislation and moving the bill into the next round of votes. President Barack Obama endorsed the legislation, saying that the vote was promising for the future of immigration reform. Both Democrats and Republicans voted to pass the bill forward despite heated debates over health care and border security. Included in the support of the bill were Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who both voted to move the bill forward.
“There are 11 million reasons to pass common-sense immigration reform that mends our broken system – 11 million stories of heartbreak and suffering that should motivate Congress to act,” Reid told USA Today.
Although many conservatives are concerned with some issues surrounding the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” legislation, the Republican National Committee told ABC News that they “must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform” or risk that the GOP would “continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.” Although Republicans have vouched for support for immigration reform, they are not choosing one approach over the other. Still, all lawmakers who voted against the bill on June 11 were Republicans, creating tension within the Senate.
Obama insisted that no one was going to get exactly what they wanted out of the bill, but moving it forward is essential for the 11 million immigrants who want citizenship.
“If you’re serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it,” Obama said in a statement at the White House. “This bill isn’t perfect. No one is going to everything that they want. But this is a bill that’s largely consistent with the principles that I had laid out for common-sense reform.”