The material below maps out the anticipated timeline for the legislative process for immigration reform bill S. 744. It’s long, but every American should know this process and participate in it! This material is from Bill Mefford, National Director for Civil and Human Rights for the United Methodist Church. He will help us know how to advance our Biblical and Christian values in this process.
To be in the loop for Bill’s information, either “Like” the Facebook page for our friends at WIN – the Welcoming Immigrants Network (https://www.facebook.com/pages/WIN-Welcoming-Immigrants-Network/104304694507?fref=ts) or if you don’t have a Facebook account, then write Dean Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 254-485-5832 to see about getting the info by email. We will share some of WIN’s info here, but not all of it.
Bill tells us: What follows is the expected timeline for the coming weeks and months. We are not in control of the timeline, and House and Senate leadership can change this at the drop of a hat, so be alert and stay flexible. For persons in the Central Texas Conference (Fort Worth area),
May 9, 14, 16, 20-24 – We need to call all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) urging support or opposition to various amendments. I will send out the list each morning along with reasons for supporting or opposing each. Please plan to call and get others to do so!
Before the May 27 Recess: SJC will vote on the bill as amended. If the bill wins the vote it will be sent to the floor
May 27: Recess. Time for teams to have “Neighbor to Neighbor” meetings with Senators or their staffs. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL. This will be the LAST TIME we can have access to the Senators BEFORE THE JUNE DEBATE.
June: Senate Floor Debate – We do not have solid dates, but there will be more amendments and we will send out information on these so you can make calls to your Senators to support or oppose. At that time, the basic process is:
>> The first vote will be to determine if they can proceed to debate, 60 votes are needed
>> Then there will be a series of votes on amendments
>> After a set period of time, the next vote will be to determine to close debate, 60 votes are needed
>> Then they vote on the bill. 51 votes are needed for passage (though the Gang of 8 are hoping for 65-70)
At that point, things will move on to the House. The overall process will likely go into the fall, and perhaps all the way to the Christmas recess. We will share more later.
Be aware, be involved, live out your Christian values!