Senate Stands Against Harsh Anti-immigrant Amendments

Thank them now.

By Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Security Policy, NCLR


This past Friday when I blogged about the Senate vote-a-rama, we did not know what would be the fate of seven anti-immigrant amendments that were filed late last week as part of the Senate budget bill.  Now we know.  Only one anti-immigrant amendment came to the floor for a vote—Amendment 614, which would have prohibited newly legalized immigrants from ever qualifying for Medicaid or exchange subsidies under the new health care law.  The amendment failed with a total of 56 Senators voting against it.  Had this amendment passed, it would have sent a signal to aspiring citizens that they would not be treated the same as other Americans, even after they earn their legal status.  By rejecting this amendment, these 56 Senators stood for fundamental fairness and against egregious policies that target immigrants and seek to marginalize our Latino community.  We commend the tri-partisan group of Senators who stood against this harsh anti-immigrant amendment.

If your Senator voted no on Amendment 614, please take a moment to thank them today.  Importantly, please thank the following senators whose votes were critical to defeating this amendment:  Sens. Baucus (D–Mont.), Begich (D–Alaska), Collins (R–Maine), Donnelly (D–Ind.), Hagan (D–N.C.), Heitkamp (D–N.D.), Johnson (D–S.D.), King (I–Maine), Landrieu (D–La.), Manchin (D–W.V.), McCaskill (D–Mo.), Murkowski (R–Alaska), Pryor (D–Ark.), and Tester (D–Mont.).  This was a potentially unpopular vote for many of these senators, so they deserve our thanks for having the courage to vote the right way.  We also encourage you to communicate your disapproval if your Senator voted for this harmful amendment.  You can reach your Senator’s office by dialing the Capitol switchboard:  (866) 220-0044.

Due to differences of opinion between the House and Senate on the budget, the larger budget bill will not become law.  That said, we shouldn’t think of this as just symbolism; instead, we must understand that this was a voting exercise to make statements and gives us a little flavor of what to expect once the immigration debate heats up.

We couldn’t have won this battle without you, and we know there’s more to come as we get deeper into the battle for immigration reform.  So, thank you for reading and being involved in our democracy.

Text of Sessions Amendment 614

Fiscal 2014 Budget Resolution—Immigrant Health Care

Sessions (R–Ala.), amendment no. 614 that would establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to provide for health care savings related to prohibiting illegal immigrants, who later receive legal status, from qualifying for Medicaid or exchange subsidies under the 2010 health care law, without raising revenues.

Amendment 614 rejected:  43 votes in favor, 56 votes against, 1 not voting.

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