Senate Panel Approves Immigration Overhaul Bill

Protection for same sex couples did not make the cut

us congressOn Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved sweeping reforms to the country’s immigration law, the New York Times reports.

If approved in the full Senate, the reforms would create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. The bill also increases the annual minimum number of visas for high-skilled workers.

Although the effort was bipartisan, a provision protecting same-sex immigrant couples did not get enough support from anti-gay Republicans and reluctant Democrats. The amendment would have allowed U.S. citizens to apply for permanent resident status on behalf of their same-sex partners.

President Barack Obama praised the committee’s efforts, saying they were “largely consistent with the principles of common-sense reform I have proposed and meets the challenge of fixing our broken immigration system.”

Debate in the full Senate is expected to begin next month.

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