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Talking Points: Immigration Reform Bill

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a key amendment to an Immigration Reform Bill Monday. It would create a "pathway to citizenship" for 11 million people who came here illegally.

The Senate is expected to pass the bill as soon as this week and President Obama has said he would sign it, but can the bill pass the House -- where Republicans have the majority?

The U.S. Senate is hoping to send this message to the U.S. House: immigration reform in the Senate has broad bi-partisan support and therefore the House should support the measure, too. But until this week, support among Republican Senators was less than enthusiastic.

But last week, a $30 billion amendment providing for a 700-mile border fence, 20,000 more border agents and radar surveillance has brought more Republicans on board.

Despite that price tag for added security, supporters are trying to convince fiscal conservatives by pointing to a new Congressional Budget Office report that says Immigration Reform will help reduce budget deficits.

Senator Amy Klobuchar appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

"It actually brings the debt down by $197 billion in just 10 years, $700 billion in 20 years. That is simply because of the fact that you are going to have immigrants that are coming out of the shadows and paying taxes because, right now, they are unaccounted for," Klobuchar said.

However, even when you factor in the tougher security measures and projected new revenues from additional taxes, many House Republicans are saying there is no way they will vote yes.

The defeat this week in the House of a $500 billion farm bill -- historically one of the few bills considered a sure thing -- suggests no vote in this Congress can be counted on.


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