An immigration bill endorsed by the President passed an important test Monday when the Senate backed adding new border security policies to a bill promising comprehensive immigration reform.
By a vote of 67-27, the border security amendment cleared the way for the passing of bipartisan legislation that would bring the biggest changes to U.S immigration law in nearly two decades.
Along with 52 democrats, 15 Republicans also voted for the amendment, which is a positive sign that the bill is gaining popularity among conservatives.
The bipartisan bill would grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants and would also put them on a 13-year path to citizenship. The border security amendment would authorize the hiring of 20,000 more law enforcement agents over to the next 10 years to protect the border between the United State and Mexico. It also calls for the buying of more high tech equipment with which to keep a close eye on the entire border, including the building of more than 700 miles of fence between the two countries.
The added security is projected to cost around $46 billion.
If the bill passes the Senate, which is expected, the debate would then move to the House of Representatives. It will face more opposition in the House, where many Republicans firmly oppose granting citizenship to those that have lived in the United States illegally.