Countdown for immigration reform debate begins

"We do not want mess things up like we did 25 years ago"

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley said today that the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin the debate on the immigration reform bill in 16 days.

At the beginning of the third preliminary hearing on the reform, this high ranked Republican on the Committee reiterated his concerns about the bill that was put together by the "Group of Eight" members of the Senate, and stated that "the other 92 senators must have the opportunity "to present amendments.

Grassley insisted that-contrary to what is said- he is not looking to use last week's Boston bombing to block the reform, but to promote "a careful review of the immigration laws "so that it "meets critical issues of national security."

"We do not want to mess things up like we did 25 years ago" with the "amnesty" of 1986, Grassley said.

According to the senator from Iowa, the bill of 844 pages will repeat the mistakes of the past by not strengthening border security, and will not stop future illegal immigration to the United States.

At the beginning of the hearing Committee Chairman, Patrick Leahy (D), supported the immigration reform, but expressed his own concerns about the bill that contrary to what Grassley said, it does set the conditions of the legalization of undocumented immigrants and border security.

In addition, the legislation "is not fair to all Americans" and discriminates against members of the gay community.

Both senators made their remarks shortly before their testimony to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.

After the Judiciary Committee vote, the measure will then most likely head towards the Senate in June.


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