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A Tempered Celebration of Today's Immigration "Victory"

  ·  Sylvia Puente

The Senate passed S744, the immigration reform bill, with a bipartisan vote of 68-32 this afternoon. Today’s vote punts legislation over to the House of Representatives. While S744 passed with much to celebrate—a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, an opportunity for the reunification of families of those who have already been deported, and encouraging provisions for DREAM-eligible childhood arrivals—it also included several troubling amendments, most notably provisions for a “border surge” that will pump an additional $30 billion into border security and a double the number of agents along the US-Mexico border. Today’s victory is bittersweet, leaving advocates wrestling with a difficult reality: supporting immigration reform increasingly means also supporting increased militarization along our southern border.

While the bill is far from perfect—the Forum has voiced concerns about the enforcement and security measures of the legislation, namely the allocation of billions of dollars to “secure” an already-secure US-Mexico border (read our thoughts on the bill, check out our blog, and find our perspective in the Huffington Post)—we are generally supportive of the legislation and encouraged by its promise of relief for millions of undocumented immigrants and their families. We thank both Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk for their “YES” votes today and will look for our Illinois Representatives to follow their lead in supporting immigration reform as the bill moves to the House.  

The Latino Policy Forum will monitor legislative developments in the House of Representatives. Sign up for updates and check our blog regularly. 

Posted In: Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigration