Immigration amendments hit on security, Obamacare and more

Rigoberto Ramos from Seaford, Del., originally from Guatemala, rallies for immigration reform in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Last Updated May 8, 2013 3:00 PM EDT

Before the full Senate will vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill crafted by the bipartisan "gang of eight," the Senate Judiciary Committee will take a crack at improving it -- and they have plenty of improvements to consider.

On Thursday, the committee will begin considering the hundreds of amendments submitted by committee members this week. The amendments touch on a range of issues, from improving immigration law enforcement and protecting the domestic economy to helping special classes of immigrants and regional needs.

Amending the bill in committee gives the opportunity for senators to weigh in on the thorny subject of immigration reform, but it also leaves the bill vulnerable to changes that could dissolve the bipartisan support it currently enjoys.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a member of the "gang of eight," said Wednesday he is "guardedly optimistic" that reform can pass, but he warned that "compromises were made" to produce a comprehensive proposal, "and if there are efforts made to destroy that delicate compromise then it could fall apart."

Here's a look at just a few of the amendments:

Helping certain immigrants

Family members: Amendment from Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Ha., "To authorize United States citizens and permanent residents to sponsor up to 2 members of their extended family to immigrate to the United States if they have not previously sponsored any other family members."

Married couples, gay or straight: Amendment from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., "To recognize, for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any marriage entered into in full compliance with the laws of the State or foreign country within which such marriage was performed."

Domestic violence victims: Amendment from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., "To provide immigration status for certain battered spouses and children."

Cracking down on undocumented immigrants

Closing the path to citizenship: Amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, "To provide that no person who has previously been willfully present in the United States while not in lawful status shall be eligible for United States citizenship."

Criminals: Amendment from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, "To ensure that serious criminals, including domestic abusers, child abusers, and drunk drivers, are not eligible for registered provisional immigrant status."

Deportation: Amendment from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, "To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to commence removal proceedings against an alien who is ineligible for registered provisional immigrant status."