Immigration rally at Capitol as senators race to finish bill

shutterstock_49320484Los Angeles Times, 4/10/13

The bipartisan group of senators pushing to finish a sweeping  immigration bill met late Wednesday as thousands of advocates gathered outside the Capitol, many waving American flags, to lend urgency to the effort. The first draft of the bill is 1,000 pages, but the eight senators have yet to sign off on all its provisions. Disputes over agricultural workers and border security that had once appeared resolved remain in flux.

“We are closer now than we have been in 25 years for serious immigration reform,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said after a briefing over sandwiches and chips with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the House. “This president is behind it. And there is a strong, growing bipartisan effort in the Senate to support it. We hope that the House will do the same.”

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Immigration in Spotlight as Senators Tour Arizona

Border Fence Arizona and MexicoThe New York Times, 3/27/13

Four United States senators came to this bustling city on the Mexican border on Wednesday searching for answers to the question that has ensnarled the debate over immigration reform:How secure is that border? They met Border Patrol agents, hovered over the region by helicopter to appreciate its challenges and magnitude, and visited one of the ports of entry here, where people and cargo cross back and forth all day and night.

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, whose office organized the tour, said that while there has been progress, the border “is still not as secure as we want it to be or expect it to be.” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who was visiting the border for the first time, said the tour helped deepen an understanding of the region, but that there were “many other things we have to do as well,” like controlling the flow of people coming into the country and providing a path to citizenship for “these 11 million immigrants who are in the shadows.”

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