Senate Reaches Landmark Immigration Reform Deal

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Protecting America's borders through increased surveillance and tighter security will be the centerpiece of landmark immigration reform.

A bipartisan group of senators reached that agreement Wednesday as thousands of illegal immigrants rallied nationwide for immigration reform.

Illegal immigration is personal for Arizona rancher Jim Chilton, who regularly patrols his property along five miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I live in no man's land," Chilton said. "I have to protect myself. The border is not secure."

So as Chilton and some of his ranch hands go about their daily business of rounding up cattle, robotic, motion-sensor cameras monitor his property. He and his neighbors have videotaped hundreds of illegal immigrants crossing the border onto their property.

Supporters of immigration reform say that's why it's so important that legislation include tighter border security and surveillance.

The proposed agreement finalized by senators Wednesday would call for surveillance of the entire 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border and the apprehension of 90 percent of those crossing in designated high risk areas.

Those already in the United States illegally would be given green cards within 10 years, but only after the implementation of the southern border security plan.

Employers would also be required to adopt mandatory electronic verification of their worker's legal status and a new electronic exit system will be put in place at airports and seaports.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of immigration reform advocates -- some of them in the United States illegally -- attended rallies throughout the country Wednesday.

Many took their cause to the nation's capital, voicing support for President Obama's deferred deportation program and fast-track citizenship.

Nearly 2,000 miles away in Arizona, ranchers like Chilton suggest their priority is protecting the homeland -- their homes, lives and property.

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CBN News
Gary Lane

Gary Lane

CBN News Sr. International Correspondent

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