The Senate inched closer to passing its 2013 immigration reform bill Wednesday, after lawmakers voted 69-29 to approve a “border surge” bill that would beef up security along the southern border.
That same bill, written by Republicans John Hoeven and Bob Corker, cleared a major procedural hurdle on Monday, when 15 Republicans helped to end debate on it with a final 67-27 vote.
The bill calls for an additional 20,000 border patrol agents on the Mexico border and the completion of 700 miles of fencing. It also requires authorities put in place a mandatory E-Verify system and have entry-exit systems at all air and seaports.
Supporters see the bill as a victory as it breaks the gridlock over border security. But opponents say it fails to consider the fact that 40 percent of those who are illegally in America came here legally and therefore entry-exit systems are needed at land ports as well.
The "Gang of Eight," who wrote the main legislation, also helped write the new border security bill.