Senate delays vote on immigration bill til June

You won’t find it in this article, but we can thank Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the delay:

WASHINGTON – Senate leaders agreed Monday that they would wait until June to take final action on a bipartisan plan to give millions of unlawful immigrants legal status.

The measure, which also tightens border security and workplace enforcement measures, unites a group of influential liberals, centrists and conservatives and has White House backing, but it has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum. In a nod to that opposition, Senate leaders won’t seek to complete it before a hoped-for Memorial Day deadline.

“It would be to the best interests of the Senate … that we not try to finish this bill this week,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., as the chamber began debate on the volatile issue. “I think we could, but I’m afraid the conclusion wouldn’t be anything that anyone wanted.”

The bipartisan compromise cleared its first hurdle Monday with a bipartisan Senate vote to begin debate on a separate immigration measure. Still, it faces significant obstacles as lawmakers seek dozens of modifications to its key elements.

Republicans want to make the bill tougher on the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. Democrats want to change a new temporary worker program and reorder priorities in a merit-based system for future immigration that weights employability over family ties.

The unlikely coalition that brokered the deal, led by Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Jon Kyl (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., is plotting to protect the agreement from “deal-breaker” changes that would sap its support. The group will hold daily meetings starting Tuesday to determine whether proposed revisions would sink what they are calling their “grand bargain.”

I haven’t written much about the latest immigration bill, because I’m not at as at odds with it as so many other people seem to be (across all aisles, it would seem) and, to be honest, the debate has gotten so contentious out there that I don’t desire to have my head bitten off . That said, I’m glad to see that the Senate is going to give this bill more time to be debated and fine-tuned, edited, etc because they only just made the bill available to the public over the last couple of days and that is, quite frankly, crap. There are legitimate concerns about the bill that could be addressed more fully with making the bill available to the public for analyzing, even though it’s clear a lot of people knew enough about it to argue for or against it before the bill’s public ‘debut.’

Brought to my attention tonight were a couple of pieces that slammed home where the bigger threat of Islamofascism in North America comes from, and it’s not from Mexico: it’s Canada. Here’s a good starting point for more on that, and for more details, this piece is an excellent source.

It’s frightening how the Canadian border has virtually been ignored in the debate over border security. Sure, there have been some politicians and pundits who’ve brought it up, but the debate on it has taken third fiddle to the debate over the border issue with Mexico, presumably because it’s not just security that is at issue but also the concern about jobs, our culture, etc. The security issue – my main issue with lax border enforcement at the Mexico/US border – is actually more of a problem on the Canadian border than it is on the Mexican border. Canada’s changing and becoming more accepting and tolerant of the Islamic culture – which doesn’t always but sometimes does include violent extremes, which we have seen far too often.

While we do need an enforced immigration policy towards illegal immigrants coming here from Mexico, the state of our borders to the north should not be forgotten.

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