Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 28, 2014

Senate Clears First Immigration Hurdle (Updated)

Updated 4:45 p.m. | The Senate on Tuesday voted to open debate on a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill on overwhelmingly bipartisan lines, staving off a filibuster 82 to 15.

All 15 senators voting to filibuster debate were Republicans: John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Boozman of Arkansas, Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, Ted Cruz of Texas, Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Mike Lee of Utah, Jim Risch of Idaho, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and David Vitter of Louisiana.

The Senate later voted 84-15 on the motion to proceed to the bill itself, with Grassley switching his vote from “no” on cloture to “yes” on proceeding to the bill and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., switching from “yes” on cloture to “no.”

It was the first test of what is sure to be many for the “gang of eight” framework that passed out of committee last month. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he expects several weeks of deliberation before final votes and the July Fourth recess.

But the road to final passage is not clear, even if the bill’s backers are confident about their chances. Republicans are pushing for stronger border control provisions while senators from both sides of the aisle mull introducing amendments that are either non-germane to the bill or could disrupt the delicate political coalition championing the legislation — from expanding the bill to include better protections for gay immigrants to gun control provisions to a series of amendments that would weaken the core of the bill from Republican senators who have little intention to vote for a final package.

As we reported Monday with our Team Politics partner-in-crime Kyle Trygstad, there likely will be serious political ramifications for both the Republican Party at large and specific senators in both parties with the success or failure of this bill.

Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, is still waiting for all four of his amendments to be adopted on the floor so he can back the bill he voted to approve out of committee.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was among the Republicans voting to start debate but demanding “major changes” to the bill before he will support it, even as President Barack Obama held an event at the White House urging Congress to send him the immigration overhaul by the end of the summer.

Let the race to 60 votes — on final passage — begin.

  • Dantes

    If the GOP lets this pass as currently written, the party may as well fold up it’s tent and go home.

  • StopThisMadness

    NO on this overblown perk-infested bill.

  • pmorton

    I understand all the no votes except Mark Kirk. Did he have a relapse?

  • Jim1904

    Mitch McConnell is a snake in the grass. He is no minority leader. He is a major butt wipe.

    It is a 1000 page RIP republican party obituary.

  • http://grumpyelder.com/ Grumpy

    Somewhere between 12 and 30 million people coming across out borders illegally isn’t immigration, it’s invasion-

    Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution requires the Federal to Government to protect the states from invasion

    Something that hasn’t been done since Dwight Eisenhower was President. That’s why the Senate is trying to cover-up the failure of Barack Obama, his predecessors and themselves for failing to protect the the states from invasion…by calling the invasion, immigration and granting Amnesty Yet Again..

    They can’t call it what it because — well,….as nicely as I can say it.. If people start thinking of it as an invasion, they will have not only neglected their Constitutional Obligation to protect the States —Somebody might decide all that free stuff the Governments been giving the Invaders qualifies as Aid and Comfort– That’s explained in Article III Section 3 –

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    So the political class is protecting the political class and hoping the propaganda machine will keep the public from realizing they’re actually surrendering to the invaders

    • The Enemy Combatant

      I will give you another reason no one will officially call the entry and presence of “illegal immigrants” an “invasion”, as you would and as you would intend it. To do so would require a response involving the deployement of the United States military. I notice that you DID NOT consider that as an appropriate and legally justified action. That would not go over well in world opinion, and it would not look good on international television for the United States to be seen shooting and bombing unarmed people whose only goal is to come here and offer to pick your strawberries and mow your lawns. The claim you make is made from the comfort of your home — a real invasion would likely make you into a refugee fleeing into Canada, or into a soldier deployed by your goverment to the front lines of defense. We invaded Iraq and drove two million people out of that country and into the surrounding nations. That was the result of a REAL invasion. Please consider the actual and practical consequences of the positions that you take.

      • http://grumpyelder.com/ Grumpy

        I’ve worn a uniform before- wouldn’t fit as well as it once did, but if I had to, I could wear it again.. I have no objection to a heavy military presence on out border.. Eisenhower did a pretty effective job of sending 1.3 million of them back to Mexico with only a 1200 or so border agents..

        Depending on whose numbers you believe, we don’t need between 10 and 20% of Mexico’s entire population of roughly 140,000,000 to pick strawberries – That constitutes an invasion

        As for cutting lawns.. and building houses we have plenty of under-employed Americans who could use some exercise.. Trust me on this, a reasonably intelligent, hard working kid can make more money banging nails than he can becoming a school teacher.. I have a local kid who cuts my grass, he’ll graduate and go into the Marines next year — takes him about 1/2 hour.. If he wanted, he could handle 10 -15 lawns just like it on a Saturday at $20 at bucks a pop..

        Next question…

        • The Enemy Combatant

          You are referring to the successor to the Bracero Program (Mexican
          labor permitted by the US and Mexico to be used in the US while American labor
          went off to fight in World War II) called “Operation Wetback”, and as historians
          have noted it was not the successful project that some on the right believe it
          to be. And again, it was not an invasion
          but it was prompted by the need of the Mexican government to reclaim labor that
          it believed was needed to work in Mexico on farms and in factories. Trouble was, the US employers paid better and
          Mexico could not assure the level of employment that so many people needing
          work would demand, especially when Mexico remained largely an agrarian economy
          with an undeveloped industrial sector.
          In reality, the entire project of “Wetback” was a species of labor
          racketeering by both the Mexican and United States governments. Indeed, both nations held meetings in Mexico
          City to plot out how it would be conducted because Mexican employers were
          ticked that their own people would rather face racist Americans than the
          Mexican employers and the government that protected and coddled them.

          The number of “deportations” you cite is a confusion; the
          apprehensions was closer to the figure you reference but not deportations. Many of the deportees returned numerous
          times, willing to face Border agents and racism simply because they were
          willing to work hard (and help send food to America’s tables) and because the
          Mexican economy simply had no room for all that labor. Besides, as rough as these migrants had it
          here, it was far worse in Mexico and they were willing to take their chances. Back in Mexico, the government and landowners
          would savagely abuse their labor force, refusing to pay them and creating food
          shortages, plus industrial mechanization of farming – all of these and much
          more drove Mexicans to enter the US legally and illegally in search of a better
          life, even if that life include abuses at the hands of American employers and
          the INS.

          Then there is the fact that American agricultural employers were
          not willing to pay US citizens the kind of income needed to sustain a family
          during the moment in US history when rising income had become the norm after
          World War II – the very time that Eisenhower was President. US Blacks constituted the part of the American
          population that did work the fields during this time – a time of lynching,
          church burnings, and bombings. And their
          income was often not provided because landowners would cheat them out of their
          pay (through the sharecropping project) by reclaiming their production as loan
          repayment. Many Blacks were interviewed
          later in their lives and told stories that suggested that they could never
          repay the landowners for which they toiled.
          In effect, they worked for free long after the legal end of slavery. Their
          response was to risk death and leave the fields because they had become fed up
          with shabby treatment.

          This is the context of “Operation Wetback”. It is worth noting that as Black and White
          laborers left the fields, it was largely the Mexican migrants who replaced
          them. And still do to this day, and
          under conditions largely unchanged. No
          American would do this work, not because Americans are lazy (I know you do not believe
          that) but because the work is back-breaking, poorly paying, unprotected. No American family will send its children
          into such work – until the conditions change.
          Radically.

          Again, your understanding misapprehends the history. Calling the current situation an “invasion”
          betrays a lack of knowledge about recent American history. It suggests a military response to what is
          largely an economic situation, a situation that tells history’s true stories of
          the struggles of labor, stories of racism, and stories of abuse by employers
          and by the state (both American and Mexican).

          • http://grumpyelder.com/ Grumpy

            LOL the number I quote is the estimated number of people who were deported or decided on their own it was a better Idea to go home, Either way it worked…

            Trust me on this- there were not an overwhelming number of illegal aliens in the United State during the 50′s and 60′s

            Your username Enemy Combatant says a lot about you– and goes a long way to explain your views.. and predictably you had to work the race card in–

            Except to physically secure the actual border I never suggested a military solution — I pointed out that Ike resolved the problem with the effective use of law enforcement..

            Mass migration has been an effective method of conquest for many centuries– It works especially well when you can sucker the country being invaded into paying for it..

            I might be wrong- but the way your comment posted – (jumping to a new line in the middle of a sentence) sure indicates a lot of cut and paste from either from a text you typed elsewhere, or from a source you didn’t bother crediting — There’s a word for that

          • The Enemy Combatant

            I took the name “Enemy Combatant” from the name of a book by a British
            citizen named Mozzam Begg who was turned over
            by the Pakistani military to the United States and then sent
            to Gitmo for interrogation and, he claims, torture. After three years of detention and — again, he claims, abuse — he was released
            in 2005 without being charged with any crimes, with no apology, and with no
            restitution. I never suffered that man’s fate – I can only offer my sympathy,
            so I stole his book’s title from him to demonstrate it. Mr. Begg took the name from a legal designation created by the George W. Bush Administration
            an effort to justify who could be held in detention, and under what conditons, and the refusal to
            recognize whatever right a detainee may have. That
            designation recognized no
            rights at all for anyone so labelled.

            The reason my text appears in the comments in the format that it
            does is because I write on word-doc before, yes, cutting and pasting my own
            words to the comment field. It allows me
            to edit my writing in a format that prevents the accident of posting my
            comments before I can feel as if my writing maintains some level of grammatical
            rectitude. Word-doc’s “red lines” come
            in handy when I do it this way. I wrote
            this reply in the same fashion (and corrected my spelling of the word “fashion”
            by this means) and will paste it into the comments space. It will almost certainly print in the same
            way as my last comment did. In the future, I will try to “clean
            up” the way it shows if the system allows it.
            Try it the way I describe – you will get the same result. I am actually flattered that you seem to
            think that I plagiarized my comments.
            Every sentence you read is my own, and the result of research before
            issuing my reply. I like to check my
            facts before spouting off. I also studied
            some Latin American history as part of my schooling in – now, I am just an East
            Coast Commie when I say this – world cinema.
            I make documentary films.

            As for the matter of race, I brought that into the discussion
            because “Operation Wetback” is the program you referred to. The name “Wetback” is a racist name, like “m-ck”
            or “k-ke” or “n-gg-r” all are. The program
            itself and the history of agrarian labor in the US is a history also of race
            relations. As the name “Operation
            Wetback” clearly suggests.

      • shamu9

        You Obviously have Never Been to the Drug Republic of Mexico! We are up to the Neck in Mexican Drug Gangs Already! As a Retired Fl Correction Officer, Having lived 10 yrs. in Texas, I can Assure You its an invasion. Their Stated Goal and their Provisional Govt., “La Raza” make No Bones about Re- Conquest of the American West, and South-West!

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