A landmark bill to overhaul the immigration system passed the Senate on Thursday, winning a large majority as its sponsors had hoped, but showing no signs of gaining ground with the Republican majority in the House.
Supporters hailed the bipartisan bill as a historic achievement. President Obama called it “common-sense reform” and urged the House to take it up. “We have a unique opportunity to fix our broken system in a way that upholds our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants,” he said. “We just need Congress to finish the job.”
Many conservative Republicans deride the bill’s central element — a path to citizenship for the 11 million people in the country without legal status — as “amnesty.” Many represent districts with few minority voters and have little familiarity with the complexities of immigration law. They are drafting their own legislation, unswayed by the Senate’s hard-fought compromise.