Senators defeat border security provision

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2013 16:45 hrs

A far-reaching immigration bill has survived an early test, as two of its Republican authors sided with Democrats to vote against strengthening border-security provisions.

Supporters of the bill said the real effect of the amendment by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley would have been to indefinitely delay citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally. It would have required the government to maintain control of the U.S.-Mexico border for six months before they could get legal status.

The vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee was 12 to 6 against the amendment. Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona voted with the Democratic majority.

The Judiciary Committee began meeting Thursday on hundreds of amendments to the bill.

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