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US Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) questions New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner, US President Barack Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in Washi
Immigration reform is finally beginning its move through the Senate, with the Senate Judiciary Committee starting to tackle hundreds of proposed amendments. Proposing a ridiculous number of amendments is just one of several Republican strategies attempting to prevent or gut any meaningful reform.

Iowa's Chuck Grassley and Kentucky's Rand Paul are comparing immigration reform to Obamacare, which should give you an idea of what fate they want it to meet; Grassley has also proposed 77 amendments. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, for his part, is urging incremental reform. As in, how about if we just do border control now and put off talking about a path to citizenship.

Grassley is neck and neck with Alabama's Jeff Sessions in the race to offer the most terrible amendments. Grassley wants to restrict visas for refugees and prohibit humanitarian travel, while Sessions wants to require in-person interviews for every immigrant seeking provisional legal status and refuse legal status to low-income undocumented immigrants. Canadian-Texan Ted Cruz just wants to go ahead and ban anyone who's ever been an undocumented immigrant from ever becoming a citizen.

And all the while Republicans are offering all these amendments—the ones seeking to stigmatize and punish immigrants and block citizenship and the ones just seeking to slow down the passage of any reform bill at all—they're screaming that Democrats are the ones proposing a poison pill. That's because Vermont's Patrick Leahy has offered an amendment that would let American citizens sponsor their long-term same-sex partners for green cards. As if Republicans would suddenly be on board with a path to citizenship if Leahy withdrew that amendment. No, it's just another excuse and delaying tactic.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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