The Senate today defeated amendment 1184 proposed by Sen. John Cornyn and passed a more reasonable amendment introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy. Both amendments identified several crimes that would disqualify people from becoming citizens.
Irma Palacios, national deputy director of Democracia Ahora, a program of People For the American Way, said the following:
“The Senate today showed it is taking its task of fixing our broken immigration system seriously by defeating a very dangerous amendment that threatened to derail efforts to find a reasonable solution to our immigration dilemma.
“While Sen. Cornyn tried to mask his amendment as a matter of rule of law, it would have violated basic rights by denying people their day in court and by giving the government unchecked powers to deport people using secret evidence. It also would have disqualified an unknown number of hardworking immigrants simply for having been in this country without documents for more than a year, leaving and coming back.
“Sen. Kennedy’s amendment, by contrast, protects Americans from dangerous criminals without trampling on basic civil rights or slamming the door to hardworking immigrants.
"We congratulate the Senate on today’s vote, and urge them to continue working diligently on crafting a law that will secure our borders, while staying true to our history as a nation of immigrants."