Immigration reform bill: Top 8 changes GOP senators want

More than 300 amendments have been submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for possible inclusion in a sweeping immigration reform package – at least 100 from just two Republican senators. But Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama are not the only GOP lawmakers to take a shot at leaving their imprint on the immigration reform effort.

Here are eight of their most notable changes to the bill – from a ban on letting any undocumented immigrants become citizens to policy changes such as how many guest workers should be brought into the United States. The Judiciary panel will be taking up these amendments between now and Memorial Day

1. No US citizenship for the undocumented, period

Mary Altaffer/AP
Angy Rivera (l.) and Melissa Garcia Velez participate in an immigrant rights rally in New York in 2012.

This one-page amendment specifies “that no person who has previously been willfully present in the United States while not in lawful status shall be eligible for United States citizenship.”

The bid to put almost a full stop on potential citizenship by illegal immigrants comes from Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas, a conservative firebrand who has staked out a reputation for bluntness after only a few months in the Senate.

Because the architecture of the entire reform bill is predicated on the possibility of citizenship, eventually, for some of the currently undocumented, this amendment stands little chance of clearing Judiciary. Its value: It could show how many Republicans feel compelled to support it and, thus, how many simply won’t back the reform bill.

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