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Holding the immigration bill together... or not

U.S. Capitol Building

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: This could be a do-or-die day for the Senate immigration bill. Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll hold a vote as soon as today to cut off debate. Some see this move as a way to keep many Republican amendments out of the bill. It's another test for a fragile bipartisan compromise on a bill that would legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Jeremy Hobson has more from Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: The immigration bill is like a wobbly house of cards, and Senators are making it even more unstable with a series of amendments.

Daniel Griswold: There's two kinds of amendments in this debate. Some are fine-tuning and others are deal breakers.

Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute says there's a fragile coalition holding the bill together.

Griswold: If some essential elements get changed in a fundamental way, that coalition very well could fall apart.

One amendment that was narrowly defeated would have made illegal immigrants who defy deportation orders ineligible for legal status. Some businesses would want to hire those people. Others want to be sure they can continue sponsoring immigrants for specialized jobs.

Robert Hoffman lobbies for Oracle and other high-tech businesses which support the immigration bill.

Robert Hoffman: This is fundamentally about keeping talent here in the U.S. to innovate and to job-create.

He says if the bill doesn't pass, jobs may go overseas because companies here won't be able to find enough workers.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: This could be a do-or-die day for the Senate immigration bill. Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll hold a vote as soon as today to cut off debate. Some see this move as a way to keep many Republican amendments out of the bill. It's another test for a fragile bipartisan compromise on a bill that would legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Jeremy Hobson has more from Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: The immigration bill is like a wobbly house of cards, and Senators are making it even more unstable with a series of amendments.

Daniel Griswold: There's two kinds of amendments in this debate. Some are fine-tuning and others are deal breakers.

Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute says there's a fragile coalition holding the bill together.

Griswold: If some essential elements get changed in a fundamental way, that coalition very well could fall apart.

One amendment that was narrowly defeated would have made illegal immigrants who defy deportation orders ineligible for legal status. Some businesses would want to hire those people. Others want to be sure they can continue sponsoring immigrants for specialized jobs.

Robert Hoffman lobbies for Oracle and other high-tech businesses which support the immigration bill.

Robert Hoffman: This is fundamentally about keeping talent here in the U.S. to innovate and to job-create.

He says if the bill doesn't pass, jobs may go overseas because companies here won't be able to find enough workers.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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