Immigration reform's new hurdle

A steel wall separates Nogales, Sonora, Mexico from Nogales, Ariz.

TEXT OF STORYLISA NAPOLI: The Senate begins debate on comprehensive immigration reform today. Despite a hard-won compromise reached last week, congressional approval is far from a sure thing. From Washington, John Dimsdale reports.


JOHN DIMSDALE: Under the proposal, undocumented immigrants would get more preference points for job skills over family ties. The Brookings Institution's Audrey Singer says that's a big change.

AUDREY SINGER: By prioritizing skills and de-prioritizing family, we're moving away from what we've stood for, for a long time.

The compromise is under attack from lawmakers on the right who think the proposal is too easy on illegal immigrants and from the left who think the lengthy path to citizenship will only encourage more illegal behavior.

California Democrat Diane Feinstein, who helped craft the deal, acknowledges it won't make everyone happy.

DIANE FEINSTEIN: To the American people I'd like to say 'please, please, please don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.'

In today's first test, at least 60 Senators will have to vote to bring the compromise up for debate.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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