Illegal Immigration Reform to Get Some Time for Debate

Katie Pavlich

4/10/2013 6:50:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

According to POLITICO, the Gang of 8 is expected to release their illegal immigration reform plan as soon as Thursday with mark-ups beginning the first week of May. This gives at least some time for debate on the issue, which has been in question since Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has indicated no plans to slow down the process. Regardless, Leahy plans to hold just one hearing on the new legislation.

The Senate’s immigration Gang of Eight plans to announce a deal within a week but a committee markup is not expected until at least the week of May 6, providing a long period for debate and changes, Senate aides said Tuesday.

Aides said the legislative proposal could be released as soon as Thursday, but is more likely to be ready early next week. The schedule outlined by the aides is meant to satisfy Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has said repeatedly that he wants a full debate and amendment process, to maximize the chances that the final vote is an overwhelming majority.

Earlier this week, it was speculated that the Gang of 8 would not allow for amendments to be added to the legislation. Clearly that has changed. As I've been mentioning, what we know of th Gang of 8 bill so far doesn't make clear how border security will be made a priority before amensty is granted to millions of illegal immigrants in the United States. Yesterday, Texas Senator John Cornyn and Rep. Michael McCaul introduced legislation addressing border security on its own and separate from any path to citizenship or amnesty.