28 Jun 2013

Immigration reform bill passed by Senate

9:14 am on 28 June 2013

The US Senate has passed an immigration reform bill that affects an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The 68-32 vote on Thursday afternoon came after months of debate and a deal to significantly boost border security spending.

As the vote was held, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the rare request of asking all 99 of his colleagues to be present and to vote from their desks.

This is not a vote where people should be straggling in," Senator Reid said.

The BBC reports two Republican Senators this week brokered a compromise to increase the bill's funding of border security measures.

An amendment that added an additional 20,000 border security agents was passed on Wednesday.

But the legislation faces a tough road in the House of Representatives.

Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday the House would not take up the Senate bill directly.

"We're going to do our own bill ... that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people," he said.