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Schumer predicts immigration bill to pass Senate by July, House Republicans more skeptical

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat and member of the Senate’s immigration reform “Gang of Eight,” predicted Sunday that comprehensive immigration reform legislation will pass the Senate with overwhelming support by July 4.

“We’re going to put immigration on the floor starting on June 10. I predict it will pass the Senate by July 4,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday morning on “Meet The Press.” “We’re hoping to get 70 votes — up to 70 votes, which means a lot of Republicans.”

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The legislation is heading to the full Senate on June 10th. According to Schumer, the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers are moving forward over House Republicans’ objections.

“We are moving forward because we believe in a bipartisan way this is so vital for America, and we’ll have a good bill,” Schumer said, pledging to allow amendments the reform package.

According to Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, amendments will play a crucial role in garnering such widespread support for the legislation in the Senate.

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“To get 70 Senators to support the bill, Democrats are going to have to accept some amendments,” Aguilar says. “To get Republican support, the provisions on border security need to be strengthened.”

House lawmakers on other Sunday shows also cautioned Schumer’s predictions of success for the legislation.

“That Senate bill is not going to move in the House,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I don’t know if we’ll have comprehensive reform or we will have it piece-by-piece. But that Senate bill may not even pass the Senate itself.”

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., emphasized the piecemeal approach that the House will likely take to the legislation.

“We think it’s better to do it with a step-by-step approach,” Goodlatte said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Aguilar says that a piece-by-piece approach would probably result in several bills packaged together.

“Nobody should expect the House to pass the same bill,” he explains. “I don’t think Goodlatte means that they would do parts of the legislation now and parts later, but rather that they would introduce several bills at the same time.”

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For Republican strategist Danny Vargas, the success of the comprehensive reform in the House is linked to the support for the bill in the Senate.

“It’s going to come down to a number of Republican senators supporting the bill; my guess is that there will be at least eight. The larger the vote in the Senate the more momentum it has going into the House,” Vargas says.

While Aguilar cautions that there is still a lot of work to do, he, like Schumer, believes the legislation will pass by the end of June.

“I am cautiously optimistic that it will pass,” he says.

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