Immigration Deal Calls for Doubling the Number of Border Patrol Agents
A "border surge" plan that double the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents and ensure the completion 700 miles of fencing between America and Mexico is poised to get the green light in the Senate.
The tough new security measures were drawn up by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota and are expected to be introduced today.
Several Republicans look certain to sign up as co-sponsors of the plan. The lack of stronger border security measures in the original Immigration Reform Bill drawn up by the Gang of Eight was a major impediment to securing the support of conservatives.
Analysts believe the new compromise greatly improves the chances of the overall bill getting the green light.
Aside from calling for 20,000 new agents, the amendment package is also expected to include changes to the E-Verify proposal and funding for a federal border security grant program called Operation Stonegarden, Politico reports.
Florida Republican Marco Rubio told Fox News: "This is not about anti-immigrants or anything or trying to be tough on anybody. We are a sovereign country. Every sovereign country in the world has the right to protect its borders and who has access to the country."
South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said: "This is a key moment in the effort to pass this bill. This is sort of the defining 24 to 36 hours."
Under the compromise deal, Green cards would not be issued to immigrants living in the U.S. until the border security steps were complete.