Capitol Hill

Running the immigration gauntlet

Known for its martial discipline, the Roman Empire developed a form of corporal punishment for negligent soldiers that involved being beaten to death with sticks by their comrades whose faith they had betrayed. This exercise came to be known as "running the gauntlet." Although there's no evidence any members of the Roman senate ever ran the gauntlet, proponents of comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Senate were compelled to run a gauntlet of amendments in May. But against stark odds, Senate leaders of both parties—along with a revolving core of more than 60 senators—stuck together to defeat amendments and emerged with the basic framework of a workable immigration reform package.

A different approach

In December 2005, the House passed a bill (HR 4437) that focuses solely on border security and workplace enforcement.

On May 25, the Senate opted, by a vote of 62-36, for a balanced and strikingly different approach than the House, S 2611. S 2611 is a sweeping overhaul of our nation's immigration laws, and though not perfect, it constitutes a sound legislative blueprint that addresses the security and economic needs of the U.S. Its provisions break down into three broad categories: border security and interior enforcement, a new temporary guest-worker program, and a path for those here illegally two years or more to earn legal status and remain in the country.