US Senate votes to revive Immigration Bill
Washington, June. 27 (PTI): Raising the hopes of millions of illegal immigrants, including Indians, the US senate has revived a stalled immigration bill that could pave the way for legalisation of their status. The Senate voted 64-35 yesterday to resume debate on the bill, which ties tough border security and workplace enforcement measures to a plan to legalise an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.
The controversial Senate Immigration reform bill passed a major legislative test when the democratic leadership managed to round up enough votes to invoke cloture on the Bill.
According to the rules of the Senate, a cloture vote that seeks to reopen debate on the Bill's amendments and seeing a final vote requires the backing of 60 lawmakers. The Democratic Majority Leader, Harry Reid has assured that every one of the amendments including that of the H-1B visas-- would be debated and voted upon in the coming days. The original version of the bipartisan Bill had a provision to increase the H-1B numbers from the present 65,000 to 115,000 with built in annual increases.
But two Senators, Richard Durbin and Chuck Grassley, have an amendment to the Immigration Bill on the H1B and the L-1 visas that seeks to tighten considerably what potential employers can and cannot do with high skilled jobs. Coming out of a closed door policy lunch, Senator Reid acknowledged that the H-1B visas have been a point of discussion leading right up to the closure vote.