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Senate to Resume Immigration Debate & Iranian-Americans Are Heard

By Jamshid S. Irani, Attorney at Law, New York


The Recent defeat of the CIRA (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act) was a setback to all immigrant communities including Iranian-Americans. Although there was no apparent support for the bill by Iranians, my June 14 article in Payvand (Why America Needs Immigrants and Why Iranians Should Care) prompted some concerned Iranian-Americans to make a few calls to their respected representatives. I am glad to hear both from Democratic and Republican supporters of the bill that some unfamiliar voices are being heard. We should stay involved actively as the bill is being resuscitated. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to file for cloture on a motion to proceed on the newly reintroduced Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act (S. 1639*) on Wednesday, a move that could pave the way for a final round of debate and votes on the Senate immigration reform proposal.


Faced with two major pieces of legislation to complete before the July Fourth recess - immigration and energy - Senator Reid has threatened to keep his colleagues at work on immigration reform through this weekend. The Senate could begin debate as early as Thursday and may vote Friday on cloture, a procedural motion that must pass with 60 votes before the Senate can move forward with the amendment process. If the motion passes, the Senate could then devote the weekend to votes on amendments, to be followed next week by a vote on final passage. We could easily feel the urgency of our actions. We cannot and should not remain indifferent is such critical times. The outcome will affect our future, the future of our children, relatives and the Iranian immigrant communities. Our community leaders, if any and interested, must act now. This is a golden opportunity for Iranian-Americans to demonstrate their concern and commitment to the community in which they live.


As part of a deal reached by the bill's "grand bargainers," amendments to S. 1639 will be limited to a negotiated package of 20-24 amendments. The final list of amendments agreed upon by Senate leaders is not yet available, but reports suggest that each party will be limited to 10-12 amendments, a small fraction of the hundreds of amendments that were filed during the debate on S. 1348.


Introduced on June 18 by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), S. 1639 contains the provisions originally included in the "grand bargain" substitute amendment (SA 1150) to S. 1348, as amended during the two weeks of Senate floor debate. S. 1639 also adds a new provision that would provide $4.4 billion to DHS for use in meeting the trigger requirements set forth in the bill. 


There has been a movement within the Iranian-American community in the U.S. in recent months. The Voice of Iranian-Americans has set a trend in motion. There has been a realization that we have adopted this land, live here and show interest in our future. There have been acknowledgements that no one will care for us but us. We cannot be counted as a unified group unless and until we count ourselves in. By speaking up now and contacting our representatives, we can show that we are not here to pass time and move on, but we are here to build, contribute and be counted in. Let us demand our representative to pass the CIRA even in the latest format. As we say in Farsi (Kachi Beh As Hichchi), half a loaf is better that none. Jamshid S. Irani, Attorney at Law, 1160 Broadway, Suite 510, New York, New York 10001  Tel: (212) 683-7700


Jamshid S. Irani, Attorney at Law
1170 Broadway, Suite 510
New York, NY 10001

... Payvand News - 6/21/07 ... --

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