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Senate Poised To Bring Immigration Reform To Floor

WASHINGTON,  (UPI) –  Securing the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to be a key debate topic after the Senate votes Tuesday to bring a bipartisan immigration-reform bill to the floor.

Senators are scheduled to vote on a procedural motion Tuesday to officially bring to the floor the landmark bill that would remake U.S. immigration laws and offer a path to citizenship for some 11 million people in the country illegally.

The vote, which is widely expected to get the needed 60 votes to pass, would open debate on scores of amendments to the overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to deliver remarks in support of the immigration-reform bill in the White House East Room around 10:20 a.m., the White House said Monday.

Some proposed Senate amendments threaten to split the bipartisan coalition of eight senators backing the bill and endanger the measure’s chances of passage, The Wall Street Journal said.

The “Gang of Eight” is still torn over how much it needs to adjust the measure to win enough support for passage, particularly from Republicans looking to strengthen requirements for border security, the newspaper said.

One expected amendment is a border-security plan from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dubbed “Results.”

It would require several border-security triggers — including a 90 percent apprehension rate of illegal crossings — to be met before immigrants living in the United States without legal permission could transition to lawful permanent residence, or green card, status.

His amendment would also put into place an expensive biometric exit system and a nationwide electronic-verification system to make sure employers only hire workers in the country legally.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told Univision Cornyn’s amendment was “a poison pill,” also known as a “wrecking amendment,” designed to destroy the bill’s integrity and ruin its chance of passage.

Cornyn said on the Senate floor Monday, “The true poison pill would be the failure to take sensible measures by adopting measures like mine which are designed to solve the problem.”

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