warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Senate Approves Immigration Reform Bill

Danielle Tarasiuk |
June 27, 2013 | 4:00 p.m. PDT

Deputy News Editor

(The Senate/ Wikipedia Commons)
(The Senate/ Wikipedia Commons)
On Thursday the Senate approved the most significant immigration reform bill in a decade, with large bipartisan support. 

The bill passed in a 68-to-32 vote, with 14 Republicans who voted for the bill. 

“This is one of the most divisive issues in one of the most divisive congresses,” The Washington Post reported that Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “But you know what? Our Republican guys showed amazing strength.”

In a rare, but symbolic ceremonial procedure, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. presided over the senators as they announced their final votes from their desks. 

“Expressions of approval or disapproval are not permitted,” The Washington Post reported that Biden said, presiding as Senate president. “The yeas on this bill are 68. The nays are 32. The bill as amended is passed.”

The bill will now head over to the Republican-majority House, where there is opposition from many conservatives and some speculate that the fight for immigration reform will continue into 2014. 

From The New York Times:

Leading up to the vote, many in the “Gang of Eight” that drafted the framework of the legislation took to the Senate floor to give impassioned speeches, including Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who is one of his party’s leading Hispanic voices. When Mr. Rubio finished, the other senators in the bipartisan group surrounded him on the floor, patting him on the back and offering words of encouragement. “Good job,” said one. “I’m proud of you,” said another.

During the vote, Mr. Rubio buttoned his suit jacket as he stood and said “aye.” Later, as Mr. Rubio walked around the Senate floor receiving congratulations, he passed by the pages sitting on the steps just below the podium and called out, “You picked a good day to be here.”

The Senate bill provides a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country, as well as tough border security provisions that must be in place before the immigrants can gain legal status.

Though overhauling the nation’s immigration system became a priority for many Republicans after the 2012 presidential election, in which the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, was rejected by Hispanic voters, immigration opponents have mounted last-ditch efforts to derail the bill, which they say would offer amnesty without any real enforcement measures.

Read the full story here. 

Email Danielle Tarasiuk here. 



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.