The Corner

Cornyn Didn’t Kill … But It Was Close

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A bipartisan immigration bill narrowly

survived a potentially fatal challenge on Wednesday when the Senate

turned back a Republican bid to limit the illegal immigrants who

could gain lawful status.

The close vote on a proposal by Sen. John Cornyn , R-Texas, to

bar felons _ including those court-ordered to be deported _ from

legalization reflected the delicate position of the contentious

immigration bill, which remains under threat from the right and the

left.

The vote was 51-46 against the amendment. Democrats succeeded in

sucking support from Cornyn ‘s proposal by winning adoption of a

rival version that would bar a more limited set of criminals,

including certain gang members and sex offenders, from gaining

legalization. The Senate backed that amendment 66-32.

Cornyn had painted his effort as a key vote for any presidential

candidate _ a sign of the degree to which the contentious debate is

bleeding over into the GOP campaign fray.

The amendment “is a defining issue for those who seek the

highest office in the land to demonstrate their respect for the

rule of law and to demonstrate their desire to return law and order

to our immigration system,” Cornyn said.

Here’s the roll.