Republican Senators have worked out a deal to strengthen border security. "Border surge," all but assures the passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate.
The bill's fate is somewhat uncertain in the Republican controlled House, but lawmakers feel there is enough GOP support to get the bill passed. It's passage would mark the first overhaul to the United States' immigration system in a quarter-century.
Republican Senators John Hoeven, and Bob Corker brokered the deal, that would nearly double the number of border patrol agents, from 20,000 to 40,000. The deal also requires the fencing along the border to to be doubled to nearly 700 miles, and add high tech tools including drones, sensors and cameras to improve surveillance.
Senate leaders believe the bill will pass with more than 70 votes, enough bipartisan support to convince their House colleagues to approve it as well. Some house members say they are still not convinced the Senate bill will stem the flow of illegal immigration.
"I don't know how anybody could argue that the reason they are not supporting this legislation is because we haven't addressed securing the border," said Senator Bob Corker. "We have addressed that. We have addressed that in spades in this legislation."
The plan is still being finalized, and will likely get a vote next week. If the bill is passed, and after all of the steps are taken, then the estimated 11-million undocumented immigrants could eventually receive citizenship
The Senate bill gives ten years for the new security provisions to be put in place. In the meantime, immigrants will be allowed to live and work in the U.S. on a provisional status. Younger immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children would be eligible for legal status more quickly than others.