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Breaking News: U.S. Senate Advances Immigration Overhaul

PHOTO: The U.S. Senate is moving ahead with legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Photo credit: AmericanProgress.org
PHOTO: The U.S. Senate is moving ahead with legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Photo credit: AmericanProgress.org
June 25, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Billions of dollars for border security and a massive buildup of border-patrol agents are keeping an immigration overhaul alive - for now. Both of Maryland's Democratic senators voted "aye" to advance a Republican amendment that would increase security along the nation's southern border. The amendment is a key part of a deal on a sweeping immigration-reform bill that will also provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

According to Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, this is a real step forward.

"This, I think, signals really a new day on this issue, and one where members of both parties can come together and work towards a solution to our long-overdue, badly-broken, way-outdated immigration system," she declared.

The Senate vote was 67 to 27, with 15 Republicans voting to advance the legislation and no Democrats opposing it.

Kelley said she is, however, concerned about the effect of such a dramatic increase in the number of border patrol agents.

"You want them to be thoroughly trained, you want them to be mindful of people's civil liberties and due-process protections," she cautioned.

A final Senate vote is expected before the end of the week.


Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD