The U.S. Senate Thursday began the massive undertaking of reforming the nation's immigration laws.
A 900-page bill with 300 amendments is being marked up in the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.
The bill aims to put some 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally on a path to citizenship. The bill was crafted by a bipartisan group, but could face strong opposition, especially from Republicans in southern border states who say the bill does not adequately secure the borders against future illegal immigration.
Authors of the bill urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to be willing to compromise.
"And we have come up with a fair bill, where no one gets everything they want. But at the end of the day it will mean dramatic improvement for the American economy, for the American people," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.
Leahy will try to make sure the bill includes provisions important to Vermont, including a visa program for migrant farm workers. He will also try to block any efforts to implement border crossing fees or build any fencing along the border with Canada.
But Senator Leahy has
introduced one amendment that could derail the entire bill. Leahy wants to
allow foreign partners in long-term same-sex relationships to be able to get
green cards like married heterosexual couples can. According to a report Thursday in The
Hill newspaper, sponsors are worried that's the kind of amendment that could
lead Republicans to reject the overall immigration bill.
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:43 PM EST2013-12-08 01:43:53 GMT
Police in New Hampshire are investigating an accident on Interstate 89 that claimed two lives. It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon. The initial investigation revealedMore >>
It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon, N.H. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:38 PM EST2013-12-08 01:38:15 GMT
A Burlington family is remembering the life of a young teen through artwork. Emily Lyman died of Leukemia at just fifteen years old, in December of last year. Now, her mother, Monica Lyman, is holdingMore >>
A Burlington family is remembering the life of a young teen through artwork.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM EST2013-12-08 01:17:57 GMT
There's still plenty of time to check off gifts on that Christmas list. The 21st Annual Vermont International Festival has something for everyone. The event began at the Champlain Valley Exposition asMore >>
Shoppers could find everything from Yoga mats from South America to jewelry from Tibet.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:11 PM EST2013-12-08 01:11:52 GMT
It's out with the old and in with the new. A new ice skating rink in Stowe has replaced the old Jackson Arena. Saturday, the town welcomed skaters to take a spin on the ice at the new arena's grand opening. TheMore >>
The new skating rink will also offer a learn to skate program and hockey initiation programs for all ages.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:05 PM EST2013-12-08 01:05:37 GMT
We have some ideas for what you can do on this Sunday, December 8, 2013. ART HOP The South End Arts & Business Association is holding its 6th Annual South End Holiday sHOP event on December 6-8, 2013.More >>
We have some ideas for what you can do on this Sunday, December 8, 2013.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:00 PM EST2013-12-08 01:00:24 GMT
Police are looking for this man who they say fulfilled his holiday wish list by taking what he wanted - and going on his merry way without paying. The surveillance video shows the suspect stealing expensiveMore >>
Police are looking for a man who they say fulfilled his holiday wish list by taking what he wanted.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:54 PM EST2013-12-08 00:54:07 GMT
Turning a car dealership into a venue to adopt cats and dogs. The adoption event - at the Subaru Dealership in South Burlington - was put on with help from the American Society for the Prevention of CrueltyMore >>
Animals from the Humane Society of Chittenden County found new homes on Saturday.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:49 PM EST2013-12-08 00:49:03 GMT
Sue Boucher and her family have made "A Very Merry Middlebury" their family tradition. "We've been coming down for probably 10 years now," says Sue Boucher of South Burlington. A Very Merry MiddleburyMore >>
Put together by the Better Middlebury Partnership - to promote a fun and booming Middlebury.More >>