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Senate to vote on immigration reform bill today

It's an important day for immigration reform on capitol hill. The U.S. Senate is planning to vote on the historic immigration reform bill, which could provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and it is expected that the legislation will pass. The Senate Majority Leader indicated on the Senate floor this morning that the vote will likely occur during the late afternoon or early evening.

The Senate Minority Leader said he will not be voting for the bill and predicted that while it might be able to pass the Senate, it will likely need an amendment offering tighter border control before it will ever be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will need to pass both the House and the Senate (and be approved by President Obama) before it can be made into law.

The original form of the bill was drafted by a bi-partisan group of senators known as the Gang of 8. In addition to granting immediate legal status to many of the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants currently in the country, the bill also seeks to tighten border security. After an amendment that was officially added yesterday, the bill now provides $30 billion to help amp up border security in the southern states that border Mexico.

The border security targets outlined in the bill would have to be achieved before the 11 million undocumented immigrants could be granted legal status. The border security issue has become a sticking point for Republicans in Congress. Although it's the Senate Democrats who are fiercely backing the bill, it is believed that today's vote could pass with as many as 69 bipartisan votes.

Source: ABC News, "Historic Vote on Immigration Will Come Today," Jim Avila, June 27, 2013

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