June 28 marked a historic day for immigration reform. The Senate passed the bipartisan immigration bill in a 68-32 vote. As the most significant overhaul of the immigration system in generations, members of both parties celebrated and geared up for the next phase in moving the plan along, according to Time magazine. The strong majority vote still did not hit the desired 70 votes, but the two-thirds accomplishment is enough to cheer about.
Polls show that the majority of Americans support immigration overhaul, but House representatives will now have their hands at it. They will begin strategizing July 10 after the week-long break for Congress members.
“Today, the Senate did its job,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “It’s now up to the House to do the same. As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye. Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop commonsense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen.”
Crowds gathered to hear the results of the vote at the Senate, and despite being asked to follow a rule of remaining silent, many broke out in chant in the gallery. Individuals who are currently living in the country illegally attended the vote that could ultimately change their entire future in the country.
The future of the bill is now in the hands of the House, which can bring on a rocky path. After months of crafting the bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the passing of the bill proved that politicians can work together in a bipartisan fashion to reach a landmark decision.