MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A bipartisan amendment passed Monday to the U.S. Senate immigration reform bill has at least one GOP senator who supported it saying the amendments planned results will make the U.S. border the most militarized since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Senator John McCain, who is one of the members of the so-called “Gang of Eight” (along with Florida Senator Marco Rubio) who negotiated the original immigration reform effort, made the comments to CNN after the amendment passed.
The amendment doubles the number of Border Patrol agents from 20,000 to 40,000, devote billions of dollars to enhanced surveillance equipment, and up the amount of border fencing required by the bill from 350 miles to 700 miles.
In addition, all of the amendment’s provisions will have to be in place and working before the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States can begin the process of obtaining legal status.
If the U.S. does extend a border fence from 350 miles to 700 miles, it will be roughly seven times as long as the Berlin Wall and if all of the new Border Patrol agents are deployed to the U.S. border with Mexico, there will be four times as many agents there than it took to man the Berlin Wall.
The Senate immigration bill is now expected to pass the upper chamber of Congress by as much as a 70-30 vote margin. However, the bill, as constructed now, is expected to be killed by the House of Representatives because it contains a pathway to citizenship, which many of the more conservative House members will not consider.