The bill, which requires approval by the full Senate, clears the way for 11 million illegal aliens to seek U.S. citizenship, and will allow some 1.5 million workers to seek temporary jobs legally.
This is a big win for the hundreds of thousands of people who joined protest marches this past weekend.
WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee approved sweeping election-year legislation Monday that clears the way for 11 million illegal aliens to seek U.S. citizenship, a victory for demonstrators who had spilled into the streets by the hundreds of thousands demanding better treatment for immigrants.
With a bipartisan coalition in control, the committee also voted down proposed criminal penalties on immigrants found to be in the country illegally. It approved a new temporary program allowing entry for 1.5 million workers seeking jobs in the agriculture industry.
“All Americans wanted fairness and they got it this evening,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., who played a pivotal role in drafting the legislation.