This seems to be a fairly common misconception so let me clarify the matter.
The Frist bill does not say that undocumented immigrants are criminals, the U.S. Code says that undocumented immigrants are breaking the law.
Follow me on this because it gets a bit confusing:
Illegal entry into the United States is a crime but illegal presence is not...it's an immigration offense. For example, overstaying a visa as opposed to sneaking across the border. With a visa, one legally enters the country but is unlawfully present once that visa expires. See our Juan Mann here.
Then Kennedy's mentions the "Cardinal Mahony Provision" which is the objection to punishing those who aid and abet illegal immigration.
Furthermore, as far as Mahony is concerned, "his challenge is to help the poor, not to check their immigration status."
Personally, I don't care what the Catholic Church thinks about this issue or any other for that matter. This is an entity which turns a blind eye while their Priests molest little boys--of course they're going to protect illegal aliens...they tithe.
Laws are for lesser mortals, not Cardinals.
According to Kennedy, our job is national security "not chasing gardeners around the desert which is what they're doing now."
Senator Kennedy (D-Massachsetts) said the Judiciary Committee looked at "hundreds of different amendments over seven days of debate" and "we have the opportunity to take some action on this" so basically, there really shouldn't be any more debate.
I smell a filibuster...