Monday night, the Senate voted on a key amendment of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, to increase Border Security along the southern border. The amendment passed with a bipartisan vote of 67-27.
The bill will increase fencing and number of border agents, as well as implement a surveillance system. The border security increase is seen by many as a policy that is necessary in order to pass the reform. Some Senators have expressed that the border must be secure before any undocumented immigrants can seek legal status.
Both supporters and opponents of the Immigration Reform bill have objected to the extensive border security. For some, the bill still does not do enough to protect the border. For others, the border plan outlined by the bill is excessive and a waste of government spending. Additionally, some residents who live near the border are worried that the increased surveillance will hurt their quality of life, while other residents support increased protection.
Many Senators feel that this amendment is a necessary compromise in order to gain a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. However, some immigration advocated wonder if Senators have compromised too much with this area of the bill, considering undocumented immigrants still will not be able to receive Social Security benefits or federal welfare funds.
President Obama stated earlier, “Now is the time to do it” referring to Immigration Reform. Monday’s vote is a promising sign that the S.744 bill will pass in the Senate. The bill needs 60 votes to pass, but the Gang of Eight Senators who drafted the bill are hoping for 70 votes to pressure the House into passing the bill. Many House Republicans have shown opposition to any kind of path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, so although we can be hopeful that Comprehensive Immigration Reform will become law, there bill still has some obstacles to overcome. There will be another Senate vote later this week on S.744.
Do you think increased Border Security is a good idea? Tell us in the comments!
Click here to read more about Monday’s vote.