WASHINGTON – The Senate approved a sweeping immigration overhaul Thursday in a strong bipartisan vote after an afternoon of emotional speeches as senators told personal stories of family journeys to the United States while visitors filled the galleries around the chamber.
The 70-vote tally that the bill’s drafters had hoped would spark momentum in the House slipped as Republicans peeled away. The final vote was 68-32, with 14 Republicans joining all of the Democrats.
Still, the outcome was significant in a divided Congress that rarely finds bipartisan agreement. But the landmark legislation has dim hope in the GOP-controlled House.
Despite drawing significant support from Republican senators with the addition of $46 billion in border security, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has no immediate plans to consider the bill. His GOP majority opposes the bill’s path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants in the country without legal status, and House Republicans are drafting their own bills.
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