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Senate Panel Tackles Immigration

by JP Sarmiento on February 15, 2013

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The Senate Judiciary held its first hearing on immigration reform last Wednesday, February 13, 2013.  The hearing focused largely on border security and enforcement, with an entire panel devoted to just one witness — Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security. She said that border security was often used as an excuse to prevent meaningful changes.

Influential Republicans has praised Mr. Obama so far in his handling of immigration reform. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s vice-presidential nominee last year, said the president’s was measured and constructive. “I thought on immigration he used the right words and the right tone, which tells me he actually doesn’t want to politicize this, which is conducive to getting something done,” Mr. Ryan said.

Given their losses in the November Congressional elections, Republicans in both the House and Senate have demonstrated a new openness to immigration changes that could finally lead to comprehensive immigration reform.

The four Democratic senators in the bipartisan group — Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, as well as Mr. Durbin and Mr. Schumer — were to meet with Mr. Obama at the White House on Wednesday evening to discuss the group’s progress. Tentatively, they plan to introduce the bill in March.

Source: New York Times

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