First on CNN: Key immigration agreement expected to be announced Thursday
June 19th, 2013
10:30 PM ET
10 months ago

First on CNN: Key immigration agreement expected to be announced Thursday

Updated at 8:44 a.m. on 6/20

(CNN) - A bipartisan group of Senate negotiators is expected to announce Thursday it has reached an agreement designed to bolster border security mandates in the pending immigration reform bill, according to a Senate source involved in the negotiations.

The agreement includes a “border surge” plan, which would double the size of the border patrol from its current level of 21,000 agents and ensure that there would be 700 miles of fence, sources tell CNN.

A Senate aide familiar with the negotiations cautions there could be a last-minute change, but this is what is expected to be announced.

The changes are aimed at attracting 70 or more "yes" votes for the contentious bill, which supporters hope would give it much-needed momentum in the GOP-controlled House.

Under enormous pressure from conservatives opposed to the bipartisan Senate bill, House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday he doesn't "see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn't have majority support of Republicans."

Earlier Wednesday, Senate debate on the immigration bill moved slowly as the floor sat lifeless in a quorum call for much of the day. However, behind the scenes, the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators continued their push to find compromises on key outstanding issues in hopes of building broad support for the legislation.

"We're working, we're working, we're working," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a leader of the talks said as he hustled between meetings. "I feel like we're getting better but it's not even close to being done yet."

The group has joined with two Republican senators – Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota - in a last ditch effort to attract more Republicans to the bill by packaging together several amendments GOP senators want included. But whether they can stitch together a complex agreement that might win the support of a dozen or more Republicans remains to be seen.

"Last night's difficulties were resolved and now we have today's difficulties," sighed Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, another Gang of Eight leader. McCain said they are still trying to satisfy Republicans' concerns that the bill will truly toughen security at the border and that it will prevent immigrants who are here illegally from obtaining government benefits such as subsidies to buy health insurance.

"There have always been two major issues: borders and benefits," McCain said. "We've been focusing on the border and I think we've got some agreements on the benefits."

Despite the slow pace on the floor, the Senate began voting on a handful of amendments-none of them considered major-late in day.


Filed under: Charles Schumer • Congress • Immigration • John McCain
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. California

    Without securing the border first and foremost this bill is nothing more than a repeat of the 1986 bill that only encouraged many more to do the same thing. 1986 2-3 million got amnesty. 25 years later we're looking at 11-20 million. Either secure the borders and make it much MUCH harder for them to ILEGALLY come here or you're jsut wasting the paper (a tree) the bill was written on.

    June 19, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Sen. Grassley complained the immigration bill was hard to understand ... perhaps, since Grassley obviously doesn't meet the qualification of being able to speak and understand English to stay here, then he should go back from where he came from.

    June 19, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    @California: "Without securing the border first and foremost this bill is nothing more than a repeat of the 1986 bill that only encouraged many more to do the same thing. 1986 2-3 million got amnesty. 25 years later we're looking at 11-20 million. Either secure the borders and make it much MUCH harder for them to ILEGALLY come here or you're jsut wasting the paper (a tree) the bill was written on."

    You have Ronald Reagan to thank for loosening oversight which encouraged illegal immigration, done at the behest of Big Agra. Ditto on the 1986 amnesty.

    And why do illegals come here? Because Americans have been willing to break the law to hire illegal aliens (so they can lay off living-wage Americans and employ people at dirt wages with no benefits and no recourse).

    Secure the border – how? And I mean something realistic, not "build a fence." And what does border security mean? I heard Rant Paul today say that the Senate should have the power to vote on whether the border was secure; not any concrete measure, just whether enough Senators "feel" like the border is secure.

    Repubs created this mess and typical of them, they're using it to divide our country (no one gave a rat's fanny about immigration until Karl Rove made it an issue in 2006). All Repubs want to do is keep the pot stirred, make noises about reform and never really do anything.

    June 19, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. California

    ThinkAgain

    @California: "Without securing the border first and foremost this bill is nothing more than a repeat of the 1986 bill that only encouraged many more to do the same thing. 1986 2-3 million got amnesty. 25 years later we're looking at 11-20 million. Either secure the borders and make it much MUCH harder for them to ILEGALLY come here or you're jsut wasting the paper (a tree) the bill was written on."

    You have Ronald Reagan to thank for loosening oversight which encouraged illegal immigration, done at the behest of Big Agra. Ditto on the 1986 amnesty.

    And why do illegals come here? Because Americans have been willing to break the law to hire illegal aliens (so they can lay off living-wage Americans and employ people at dirt wages with no benefits and no recourse).

    Secure the border – how? And I mean something realistic, not "build a fence." And what does border security mean? I heard Rant Paul today say that the Senate should have the power to vote on whether the border was secure; not any concrete measure, just whether enough Senators "feel" like the border is secure.

    Repubs created this mess and typical of them, they're using it to divide our country (no one gave a rat's fanny about immigration until Karl Rove made it an issue in 2006). All Repubs want to do is keep the pot stirred, make noises about reform and never really do anything.
    -----
    In 1986 the demcorats deal was to secure the border after giving amnesty. They broke their word. Also Reagan did in fact after leaving office regreted giving them amnesty.

    Democrats for some reason are against E-Verify also. Why is that? Because it actually works?

    Giving the world amnesty is lunacy.

    June 19, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. California

    The breaking up of the families as demcorats and illegals like to call it falls squarely on the shoulders of the ones that in fact created their situation to beging with.

    They knew they were illegal when they came.

    June 19, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    Wow, the inspiring example of democracy.

    June 19, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. California

    The amount of money that would be saved just on making the national language english would be in the 100's of millions AT LEAST if not Billions of dollars just in having only one language forms instead of 50 different types and the people to translate them.

    June 19, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. Revolution

    All liberals do is blame. The proof is in the posts

    June 19, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. RIchard Long

    Another bloated piece of legislation with thousands of exemption; weighing in at over 1000 pages.

    June 19, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. elucidated1

    If the GOP cannot agree to a bi partisan immigration reform bill, they are again, going to look like obstructionists. At what point in time do the Congressmen actually look to build consensus in a collaborative way, as Congress was created?

    June 19, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Vote the repubs and the baggers out next year. ALL of them that are in the House can go and never be missed. Fill the seats with moderates.

    June 19, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  12. g

    why do they not go after the mexican government to do something about there people,shut down the boarder crossing for a month ,no trade or is a pony show ,and love the cheap labour

    June 19, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Tired

    No amnesty. There is no tax revenue when all are at or below poverty level earning minimum wage. Stop this insanity and make them legal workers, not citizens.

    June 19, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  14. Malibu

    I would like to acknowledge that were all immgrants.

    June 19, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. zombielee

    When are we gonna unite like these immigrants and fight for what we want. Lets set a example to the government, enough is enough

    June 19, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. mick

    With so many of us out of work what a great idea it is to LEGALIZE millions of CRIMINALS.

    June 19, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. joepa14221

    "ThinkAgain
    @California: "Without securing the border first and foremost this bill is nothing more than a repeat of the 1986 bill that only encouraged many more to do the same thing. 1986 2-3 million got amnesty. 25 years later we're looking at 11-20 million. Either secure the borders and make it much MUCH harder for them to ILEGALLY come here or you're jsut wasting the paper (a tree) the bill was written on."

    You have Ronald Reagan to thank for loosening oversight which encouraged illegal immigration, done at the behest of Big Agra. Ditto on the 1986 amnesty.

    And why do illegals come here? Because Americans have been willing to break the law to hire illegal aliens (so they can lay off living-wage Americans and employ people at dirt wages with no benefits and no recourse).

    Secure the border – how? And I mean something realistic, not "build a fence." And what does border security mean? I heard Rant Paul today say that the Senate should have the power to vote on whether the border was secure; not any concrete measure, just whether enough Senators "feel" like the border is secure.

    Repubs created this mess and typical of them, they're using it to divide our country (no one gave a rat's fanny about immigration until Karl Rove made it an issue in 2006). All Repubs want to do is keep the pot stirred, make noises about reform and never really do anything."

    You know democrats are just as guilty. Why not quit allowing anchor babies? Also, why give them citizenship and not a type of legal status instead. The reason is that democrats want this as an issue. Why else did Barack Obama place a poison pill in it last time, because he didn't want Republican to get credit.

    June 20, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    I have never understood why if nationally we think this is big issue i.e legalizing immigrants.
    rules simple as possible:-
    1) No one can be employed at less than minimum wage, huge penalties to employers caught doing so.
    2) You want a Job, please produce social security number and drivers license, failure on those passport and a valid address, supported by original utility bills paid by you in you name or confirmation from the Legal owner thereof if rented that you have a valid lease contract.
    3) Do 2 above for any illegal immigrant that wants to stay and apply to gain citizenship and issue an E-verify ID with photo. There is a time line of 6months to apply and ideally all applicants must submit as much of the above documents that they have priority in clearance given to those with all said docs.
    4) No more guest worker Visas we have 7.6% unemployment
    5) There are no benefits from the six months hence date without an E verify ID. Nor can anyone employ someone who appears to need and e-verify ID or employ them at less than minimum wage.
    5) Visa procedures in Mexico especially to be tightened and on entry even as a tourist ( specific dates only) police will check you have checked in, and be Notified by the hotel if the check out date is earlier than indicated. go back to the old rules of hotels in France of you leave your passport at the hotel. if you are at a persons address then the local police visit to check you are there If not a BOLO is issued.
    90 % of past rushes was guest worker Visa's stop that and its a big step to border security.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    June 20, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  19. VA Blue Ridge Mountains

    Secretary of State Kerry talked about slavery in this country being used against illegal immigrants. He gave the example of the 7-Eleven stores. The current immigration bill does not prevent this, since E-verify is not currently required to be used by all employers.

    Next Congress talks about giving current illegals here the ability to become citizens, but no benefits for a few years. If so why would an illegal step up to become a U.S. citizen? It is easier to stay illegal and walk into a hospital ER who is required by law to treat you. You now have health care. Additionally with no benefits, the employers will hire these potential citizens or illegals over a U.S. citizen who has to be paid benefits. So, the unemployed U.S. citizens can't get hired, and these illegals or potential new citizens get preference when being hired. Is this right?

    Next why does this bill have a huge increase in H1B/L1 worker visas from 58,000 to 400,000 a year? Most of these workers work in the $65,000+ jobs – high paying jobs. The employers don't have to pay them benefits, so the unemployed U.S. citizen does not get employed. Let's face it these jobs are mostly in engineering. Right now our college engineering graduates can't find a job, because U.S. companies are filling these entry jobs with overseas contractors. With this enormous increase in H1B/L1 visas, our congress is proposing to kill our in-house engineering expertise. These foreign contractors go back after 5 years, and take the technology know how with them. I didn't realize it was a priority to train our foreign competitors. Interesting new trend.

    The current immigration bill does nothing for the common worker. It is basically a corporate bill. I guess when Senator Rice said it was a good bill. A good bill for whom? The greedy U.S. corporations?

    Yes, Secretary of State Kerry, we have slavery in the U.S., and this bill is increasing the slave numbers dramatically and leaving the 20 million U.S. citizens to live in extreme poverty.

    June 20, 2013 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  20. Michael Benjamin

    House Republicans run in district elections limiting their exposure to broad based national issues. They are more worried about a primary challenge than losing to the other party. Boehner has spoken so unless a majority of Republicans approve of the bill that emerges from the Senate immigration will probably not even see a vote in the House.

    June 20, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  21. Iamnotfooled

    Senators-Stop listening to a FEW squeaky wheels who don't want immigration reform and do what the majority wants for a change. You might keep your job.

    June 20, 2013 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  22. M.A.P.

    This immigration problem is not really "solvable" as some people think. People will always try to get into USA by any means (especially when conditions in mexico, cuba etc are so bad) and there's really no way of stopping it all together. The real issue should be focusing on the processes surrounding amnesty, deportation, ID checks etc. because these are the issues that really affect people. No fence is gonna stop immigrants, ever!

    June 20, 2013 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  23. Richard Long

    Why support legislation that favors people who blatantly broke the law over legal US citizens?

    June 20, 2013 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  24. king

    hey folks do what you must, but since china has way more spenders than we do. we need spenders in this country. most immigrants are go getter, and they will start businesses that a lot of Americans can get jobs. or they will get jobs and support a lot of businesses so they can hire more American. we need to get out of the great recession mind frame. more people equals more spenders equal more business, equals more folks getting hired.

    June 20, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  25. Minnie Mouse

    Something needs to be done. Americans are losing jobs. Americans should not be requried to speak Spanish in order to land certain jobs. Ilegal undocumented immigrants should not be on welfare or getting discounted college tuition.

    Numerous American security people need to be sitting at the border monitoring the situations and recording everything few days or even a week, in order to see what exactly is going on in order to fix the border secruity issues. This is the only way to find out where and how to invest in a more effective and efficient border security plan. The issue is far beyond fences, so why keep adding adding, get down to the real problems.

    June 20, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
1 2