Changes in immigration bill expected to draw strong support in Senate

capitolThe Washington Post, 6/21/2013

The Senate made significant changes to the immigration bill under its consideration Friday that will expand the legislation to more than 1,100 pages and add roughly $50 billion in costs. Supporters think that, with those changes, the measure will attract broad bipartisan support — maybe more than 70 yes votes — when the bill comes up for a vote next week. Such an outcome would be notable in the usually divided chamber. “We’re not at 70 yet, but we’re gaining support and this . . . helps a great deal,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the lead negotiators on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday that senators would begin voting Monday evening on a single amendment that scoops up several issues, including plans to spend $30 billion fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border with 20,000 additional border agents and new drone technology. It will also include an agreement on how much eligible immigrants will be required to pay in fines and back taxes before they are able to earn a green card.

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