Senate panel approves immigration bill that may offer citizenship to undocumented immigrants

  • Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:34 a.m.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., left, confers with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as the Senate Judiciary Committee assembled to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP PHOTO)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., left, confers with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as the Senate Judiciary Committee assembled to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP PHOTO)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved far-reaching immigration legislation that gives a chance at citizenship to millions living in the country illegally.

The 13-5 vote clears the bill for a Senate debate expected to begin early next month.


Committee approval came after the panel’s chairman sidestepped a showdown on the rights of gay spouses, heeding appeals from the White House and others who feared such a vote could lead to the bill’s demise in the Senate.

On a final day of drafting, the panel also agreed to a last-minute compromise covering an increase in the visa program for high-tech workers.

The landmark legislation creates new provisions to bring workers here legally and enforce against illegal immigration, as well as creating a path to citizenship for 11 million here illegally.

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