The Senate's bipartisan immigration bill, introduced by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and the "Group of 8,' cleared a key procedural hurdle today. The Senate voted 67-27 to end debate on an amendment that expands the bill's border security measures while maintaining the path to citizenship and other reforms to the visa system to help our economy.
The broad, bipartisan vote to end debate signals the amendment will be accepted by the Senate and sets the bill on a path for a vote on final passage this week.
"We can no longer afford the status quo. Our broken immigration system is bad for the economy and bad for families," Bennet said. "This compromise represents an important step toward fixing the system. It strengthens the border security measures without sacrificing the principles of the bill. We now have an unprecedented investment in border agents and other border security tools, but we have maintained a real and attainable path to citizenship that allows immigrants to step out of the shadows and start contributing more to our economy."
"Today we are one step closer to reaffirming two bedrock American principles: We are a nation that respects the rule of law and we are a nation of immigrants," Bennet added.
The amendment was negotiated by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) with the Group of 8. The border security measures would more than double the current number of border agents to 40,000 and would require completion of a total of 700 miles of fencing along the southern border, among other provisions. The compromise brings the support of several Republican Senators, increasing the bipartisan support and bringing momentum seen as necessary for the bill's passage in the House of Representatives.
Following today's vote, a series of procedural votes are scheduled to take place over the course of the week that set the bill for a final vote at in the Senate at the end of the week.