The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the new immigration reform proposal that was put together by a bi-partisan group of Senators, namely the Gang of 8. The legislation survived the entire markup process with most of its major provisions in place as the 4 Senators representing the Gang of 8 on the committee stuck to their commitment to resist any changes to the fundamental requirements of the bill. This is a huge step for the approval of the reform by the Senate.
The bill is expected to be on the Senate floor next week. Majority Leader Senator Reid and Minority Leader McConnell will agree on a set of rules to govern debate and offering of amendments on the bill on the Senate floor.
It is a big question mark how the House, mostly dominated by Republicans, will react to the new reform. The House has been waiting for the reform to become law. The House is supposed to approve a similar bill as well. Either way the approval at the Senate Judiciary Committee is very premising for immigrant advocates. The new reform proposal would allow illegal immigrants to get a green card if they came to the US before December 31, 2011, do not have tax debts and do not have any criminal background. Eligible applicants would be first granted temporary status and then would be eligible to apply for green card. We will continue to give updates on this matter.