After months of negotiations and a heated mark-up by the Judiciary Committee, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, is finally headed to the floor of the Senate for debate. Yesterday, the Senate voted 84-15 to proceed with consideration of what could be the most comprehensive reform of our immigration system in a generation. Today begins a long three weeks for the Senate, as they start to debate, amend and vote their way through the over-1,000 page bill. So what’s included in this mammoth piece of legislation? Here are some of the key items the RAC is focusing on:
This bill includes provisions that prioritize family reunification and contains new merit-based legal channels for loved ones to enter the United States. We are supportive of the elimination of the decades-long backlogs in family visas over the next 8 years as established by the bill. However, we believe that family reunification must be inclusive of all family members and we are thankful that Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced an amendment to the bill to extend spousal visas for LGBT couples.