The fine print of immigration reform legislation

As work begins in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on immigration reform legislation, Senators have laid out 300 amenmdents to what is now an 867 page bill, covering everything from immigration issues involving same-sex spouses to plans that prevent anyone in the U.S. illegally from becoming a U.S. citizen.

Supporters hope to push through debate and amendments over the next few weeks, and get an immigration reform bill to the Senate floor in June; at this point, they would seem to have the votes, but it won't stop critics from offering a slew of changes in coming days.

Links to all 300 amendments that were offered can be found on the web site of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Here are some examples:

+ Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has an amendment that eliminates any path to citizenship for those here in the U.S. illegally, saying "no person who has previously been willfully present in the United States while not in lawful statusshall be eligible for United States citizenship." (Cruz #3)

+ Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has an amendment that excludes certain "domestic service" jobs from the reform bill's prohibition on hiring illegal immigrants; those jobs include, "cooks, waiters, butlers, housekeepers, governessess, maids, valets, baby sitters, janitors, laundresses, furnacemen, care-takers, handymen, gardeners, footmen, grooms, and chauffeurs of automobiles for family use." (Lee #14)

+ Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) could offer a plan that cracks down on people in the U.S. illegally, who have committed a crime, to "ensure that serious criminals, including domestic abusers, child abusers, and drunk drivers, are not eligible for registered provisional immigrant status." (Cornyn #3)

+ Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, has an amendment that looks at federal spending and immigration, requiring "the Office of Management and Budget to annually certify that this Act will not increase the Federal deficit." (Sessions #44)

+ Sessions has another amendment that would "limit the earned income tax credit to citizens and legal permanent residents." (Sessions #31)

+ Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has an amendment that would allow the U.S. Government to "collect a DNA sample from each adult alien applying for registered provisional immigrant status for comparison against the Combined DNA Index System of the Federal Bureau of Investigation." (Hatch #3)

+ Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) wants to get rid of one provision in the immigration reform bill that would "authorize the establishment of a public-private partnership to be known as the United States Citizenship Foundation." (Grassley #23)

Republicans submitted 194 amendments, Democrats have 106. Here are the highlights of some from their side of the aisle:

+ Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) offered an amendment that would insure same-sex partners can be covered by the immigration reform bill, ensuring that the U.S. will recognize "any marriage entered into in full compliance with the laws of the State or foreign country within which such marriage was performed." (Leahy #7)

+ Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has a proposal that would make 5,000 immigrant visas available for certain people from Tibet who have been displaced from that country. (Feinstein #3)

+ Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has an amendment that would help "provide immigration status for certain battered spouses and children." (Klobuchar #1)

+ Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has a plan that would "permit battered immigrants to be eligible to receive certain public and assisted housing." (Franken #9)

+ Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) may offer an amendment that would "provide for special immigrant status for certain spouses and children of employees of the United States Government abroad killed in the line of duty." (Coons #3)

+ Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has an amendment that would "permit registered provisional immigrants who have honorably served in the Armed Forces and meet certain other conditions to become naturalized United States citizens." (Blumenthal #12)

+ Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) might offer an amendment that would "exempt children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas." (Hirono #1)

Those are just a few of the 300 amendments that "may" be offered as the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its work on immigration reform legislation.

You can read the text of the bill as changed in recent days by sponsors here.

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