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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

WASHINGTON - Billions of additional dollars for border security and a massive buildup of border-patrol agents are keeping an immigration overhaul alive - for now. Both of Virginia'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one where members of both parties can come together and work towards a solution to our long-overdue, badly broken, way-outdated immigration system," she declared.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 vote was 60 to 27, with 15 Republicans voting to advance the legislation.

Kelley said she is, however, concerned about the impact 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 - VA