Senate Begins Work on Immigration

Its prospects may hinge on border security and one amendment in particular
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2013 4:36 PM CDT
Senate Begins Work on Immigration
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It took a long while to get to this point, but the Senate today officially began work on an immigration reform bill, reports the Hill. The first vote was a procedural matter to take up the measure, and it passed by a whopping 84-15 vote. But all the coverage makes clear that the big margin means nothing in terms of actually getting something passed—many Republicans in particular say that while they agreed to debate the measure, they want far stronger protections on border security than is currently on the table.

A key test will be an amendment from John Cornyn of Texas, who is calling for a 90% apprehension rate of people trying to cross the border illegally, reports Business Insider. Harry Reid and others have called it a "poison pill." Prospects of passage in the House are even tougher, though John Boehner today declared that he thinks it can be done by year's end. President Obama, meanwhile, made his own high-profile pitch today and said Congress could finish by the end of summer, reports the New York Times. "If you're serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it." Click to read the AP breakdown of the main points of the legislation, including its path to citizenship. (Read more Senate stories.)

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