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May 25, 2006

Yesterday afternoon the Senate considered several amendments to S.2611, the Hagel-Martinez Immigration Compromise bill.  Among the results were:

  • Increasing the amount of fees required by the legalization program by $500.00, raising the total amount of fees to more than $3,200.00.  The amendment passed 73-25.
  • Reserving 2/3 of the 55,000 diversity visa lottery numbers for persons with advanced degrees in math, science, and technology.  The effect of the amendment will likely be a substantial decrease in the number of diversity visas granted, as the majority of diversity visas go to third world countries.  The amendment passed 56-42.
  • Removing international adoption responsibilites from the Department of Homeland Security and placing them wholly within the Department of State.  The amendment passed on a voice vote.
  • Terminating the guestworker program after five years.  The amendment failed by a single vote 48-49.

A handful of amendments are expected to have votes this morning with a vote on the final bill expected this afternoon.