Hope For Immigration Bill With Injection Of Border Security
Friday, June 21, 2013
Aired 6/24/13 on KPBS News.
The Senate is expected to take a key vote on the immigration reform bill on Monday, with the hopes of passing it by the end of the week. Some border leaders are skeptical of the bill’s border security super-boost.
The Senate announced a major compromise on immigration reform legislation this week involving a super-boost for border security.
Here’s the gist of the deal: Double the size of the Border Patrol and build 700 miles of new fencing. In return, get enough Republican votes to pass the immigration reform bill while maintaining one of the bill’s key tenets — a path to citizenship for an estimated 8 million immigrants currently in the country illegally.
Backers of the bill hope the “border surge,” as some have dubbed it, will also help its chances of passing through the more conservative House of Representatives.
Congressman Juan Vargas, a Democrat, represents California’s southernmost district. He said the border security proposal is, perhaps, obligatory overkill.
“They want to add another 20 thousand people there to prevent the maids and a lot of the gardeners from coming to the United States, that’s ridiculous,” Vargas said. “But, ok, if that’s the ransom we’re going to have to pay to get your vote, let’s do it.”
Vargas said he is hopeful the beefed up bill will find favor in the House. The question is whether or not Speaker John Boehner will even let it get to a vote.