Senators report compromise on increased border security
WASHINGTON (NBC) -
The Senate Thursday is on the verge of a breakthrough on immigration reform.
The new bipartisan plan would beef up the border with Mexico by doubling U.S. border patrol, with 20,000 new agents, finish 700 miles of fence and by using more high tech weapons to slowdown the flow of undocumented workers crossing into the United States.
At least 11 senate republicans join democrats to back the plan.
"For people concerned about border security, once they see what is in this bill, it's almost overkill, said republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Vice President Biden rallied support at the Hispanic prayer breakfast, railing against republicans who'd limit social security benefits to those paying in but not working legally.
"Once you come out of the shadows and are on a path to citizenship, you don't get credit for all the money you've paid to the government that's just mean!!!" the Vice President said.
Republican opponents fired back.
"Wages will go down, said republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
And the Congressional Budget Office estimated illegal border crossing would drop by just 25%
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio says that's not good enough for house republicans who he predicts will reject the plan.
"And that I'll just tell you will not cut it," Boehner said. "Border security in the Senate bill is not sufficient to solve the problem."
But republican John McCain says what the senate does could force the house to go along.
"We think it's very possible we could get a sufficient number of republican votes to send a strong message to the House of Representatives and get this bill to the President's desk," McCain said.
The showdown between the two sides and two chambers could come by fall.
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