Senate Votes to Deny Amnesty to Criminal Illegal Aliens
The Senate has agreed to exclude illegal aliens who have been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors (in addition to violating immigration law, presumably) from getting a fast track to citizenship.
The Senate voted Wednesday to exclude illegal immigrants convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors from a chance at remaining in the United States under what critics say is an amnesty program. The unanimous vote on an amendment that before Easter had been considered a “poison pill” provided added momentum for broad immigration bill that would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants and put many of them on a path toward citizenship.
The amendment by two of the bill’s leading opponents, Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona and John Cornyn of Texas, was softened Tuesday in negotiations with the legislation’s supporters. The sponsors agreed to include exceptions for hardship cases and those who didn’t know a deportation order had been issued for them, winning the additional support. “We want to keep those who could harm us, the criminal element, out,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., one of the authors of the bill. “Those who could benefit us ought to remain.”
That denying citizenship to convicted felons was considered a “poison pill” is rather astounding. Even Teddy Kennedy acknowledges that we don’t need to import any extra criminals.