As the Senate attempts to push through a controversial immigration bill, a “surge” of border patrol agents is poised to be included in the legislation that would sway the votes of as many as 15 Republican Senators, according to the LA Times.
Lisa Mascaro and Brian Bennett write that the plan would add 20,000 border agents to the U.S. border with Mexico and it would cost four times what Senators had initially budgeted for the reform bill.
The article says the “surge” would be a boost to defense contractors and could be a large boost for border communities.
“It is now about trying to figure out: how do we also make sure we get something through that fixes this god-awful problem of a broken immigration system,” said Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union.
The price tag for the border plan would be paid by by new taxes and fees on immigrants seeking legal status and employers seeking guest-worker visa.
A recent Congressional Budget Office analysis predicted that if the immigration bill passed without the boost in border patrol agents, then 7 million additional illegal immigrants would infiltrate the U.S. in the next 10 years.