The bipartisan immigration amendment on border security was filed in the Senate Friday afternoon, a move which could help secure the votes needed to pass the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill in the Senate.
“This amendment will put to rest any remaining credible concerns about the border — about border security,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Friday.
The amendment, which was sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., calls for the doubling of border patrol agents from its current size of 21,000 officers as well as the completion of 700 miles of fencing along the border before green cards can be granted to 11 million undocumented immigrants. The amendment was included as part of a larger amendment from Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary committee.
The first test vote on the amendment will be Monday at 5:30 p.m., when senators decide whether to proceed to debate. The schedule for votes next week remains is unclear, but Reid said he hopes to have a final vote on the Senate immigration bill by the end of next week.
“Next week, we’re going to add immigration as another example of how to get things done,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Gang of Eight, said the amendment offers a “real chance” of securing Republican votes in the Senate but noted that they have not secured the 70 votes which some Gang of Eight members have wanted.
“We’re not there yet. We’re climbing each day, but we’re not there yet, but I think we will get there,” Schumer said.
John Boehner, speaker of the Republican-controlled House, meanwhile, said he won’t take up a bill unless he gets support among his own party. You can read what he had to say here.