US Senate Judiciary Committee members have filed their amendments to S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” The amendments are being uploaded online now at http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/legislation/immigration/amendments.cfm. This is an interesting process where Chairman Senator Leahy has requested that all amendments be filed by 5pm today EST. Having them online available for the public is in stark contrast to the 2006-2007 reform efforts that were largely done in secret without much debate.
According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) advocacy department, starting May 9, Senator Leahy will hold hearings on selected amendments, supposedly giving equal time and review of the same number of amendments for the majority and minority members of the aisle. They will be debated and voted on one at a time, rather than hearing about all the amendments first and then voting on them in bulk. Amendment consideration is scheduled for May 9, 14, 16, and all of the week of May 20 as needed with a deadline for voting by May 24 before the Senate breaks for recess.
AILA will be analyzing the amendments and reporting back on two of its public websites tomorrow at www.aila.org/senatebill and www.aila.org/IP2013 (for news, analysis and commentary on the provisions).