BREAKING: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill

Daniel Doherty

5/21/2013 8:11:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

This was not unexpected, of course, but for those unfamiliar with the legislation, here are the nuts and bolts of the committee-approved bill:

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping immigration reform bill, setting up a debate on the Senate floor for early June.

Three Republicans joined 10 Democrats to support the bill, which would create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, invest billions in new border security measures and overhaul the legal immigration system.

The vote came after the committee deliberated for five days and considered more than 150 amendments. But the Gang of Eight, which drafted the legislation, held together and fended off all but minor changes.

Earlier in the evening, safe passage of the bill seemed somewhat uncertain when Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy refused to withhold an amendment that would, according to Politico, “allow gay Americans to sponsor their foreign-born spouses for green cards.” Certainly, it was one of the more controversial measures under consideration, and he wisely -- albeit begrudgingly -- dropped it when it became patently obvious the bill would die in committee if he didn’t.

“I don’t want to be the senator who asks Americans to choose between the love of their life and the love of their country,” he said.