Immigration Bill Defeated in Senate
July 3, 2007
After putting the Immigration Reform Bill to a vote on June 28th the Senate voted 46-53 against ending debate on the bill. The bill was defeated amongst the outcry of many U.S. citizens who called their representatives to voice their opinion on the bill. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama had remarked on the Senate floor that, according to the sergeant-at-arms' office, the call volume was so high it had crashed the phone system, and that callers were not able to get through during the morning debate. According to other news sources, many of the callers whose calls got through disagreed with the provision in the bill that allowed over 12 million illegal immigrants the chance to become U.S. Citizens, and referred to this as an amnesty for breaking the law.
The outcry from citizens was so great it changed the minds of eighteen Senators who originally voted to keep the bill alive. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina said that the calls that came in "did make a difference." Many of the other Senators who voted down the bill said they felt like this was a waste of their time when the bill was going to be defeated in the House of Representatives where support was scarce.
Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts who was on the committee that drafted the bill commented on the talk of amnesty by saying, "What are we going to do with the 12 million who are undocumented here? Send them back to countries around the world? What's their alternative?"
Even though the bill was ultimately defeated there are some who think that some good still can come out of this experience. Senator Kennedy, for instance, was optimistic saying, "You cannot stop the march for progress in the United States, and on this issue I have every hope and every expectation that we will ultimately be successful."