After months of vague talking points about creating a "path to citizenship" versus a "special path to citizenship" versus "amnesty," the Senate's "Gang of 8" finally has an immigration bill ready. And, much to the relief of immigration advocates, there is a relatively clear and reliable process for today's 11 million undocumented residents to eventually become citizens.
That's good news for the immigrant rights community. But it also means the Republican members of the gang -- Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) -- have a difficult path ahead convincing a skeptical party that these features are necessary to passing a final bill. Or as one immigration lawyer sympathetic to reform put it to TPM: "Rubio is going to get crucified for agreeing to this."
Let's dive in to how it works:
The debate on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department devolved into a fight over semantics on Thursday.
As Republican senators imposed a 60-vote threshold on Hagel's nomination -- a requirement that's a hallmark of the filibuster -- they insisted the f-word didn't apply. All they were doing, Republicans such as James Inhofe (OK) argued, was seeking more time to gather requested information on the possible future defense secretary.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)