How the immigration debate played out on "Face the Nation"

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By Marshall Cohen

The Senate Thursday accomplished something Washington has been working on for years - it passed bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.

In the end 68 senators voted for the bill, 14 of them Republicans, after months of negotiations and debate, some of which played out publicly in news conferences and over the airwaves, including on "Face the Nation."

"I am hopeful that we get a good vote on both sides of the aisle," predicted Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a key member of the "Gang of Eight" senators who negotiated the compromise, in an April appearance on "Face The Nation."

"We don't want this bill to be, you know, 53 Democrats and just a handful of Republicans because we need broad bipartisan support, particularly, to get a bill done in the House."

Included in the bill is a provision calling for the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and would double the number of Border Patrol agents stationed nearby. Dubbed the "border surge," these measures were included in an amendment written by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., as a way to pick up Republican votes.

"This amendment, that we've worked on together and it's been vetted by many, it certainly should put to rest any issue regarding border security," Corker said Sunday on "Face The Nation."

Some Senate Republicans, and many in the House, still staunchly oppose the legislation. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Sunday on "Face The Nation" that the 1,200-page bill is a faulty design for immigration reform and that the border security amendment "doesn't fulfill its promises." Many Republicans want to ensure border security before any path to citizenship is made available and some have said they oppose any bill that provides citizenship to illegal immigrants.

House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he would not bring the Senate bill up for a vote.