The U.S. Senate has passed an immigration bill with a bipartisan 68-32 vote that would create a path to U.S. citizenship for 11-12 million undocumented aliens and tighten border security, Reuters reports.
Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro write that 14 Republicans, two independents and all 52 Democrats backed the immigration reform measure.
President Barack Obama lauded the bill’s passage, saying “the Senate did its job. It’s now up to the House to do the same.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner said after the vote that the house would “do our own bill,” legislation that “reflects the will of our majority.”
He said that he would not allow consideration of any bill that does not have the support of a majority of the House’s 234 Republican representatives.
The Senate measure includes a 10-year $46 billion plan to add 20,000 law enforcement agents, build 700 extra miles of fencing and install surveillance equipment along the Mexican border.
It also contains a provision to increase the number of highly-skilled foreign employees under the U.S. work visa program.
Supporters of the immigration bill aimed to achieve 70 votes in hopes of convincing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to consider adopting the legislation, according to the report.