Historic Immigration Bill Not Out of the Woods Yet

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The immigration debate cleared a big hurdle this week with the Senate's approval of the immigration reform bill.

"Here in America, generations of unfulfilled dreams will finally come to pass," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, said. "That's why I support this reform, not just because I believe in immigrants, but because I believe in America even more."

The sweeping legislation includes a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, expands visas for low-skilled workers, and carries some of the toughest enforcement measures ever.

"When this legislation becomes law, it will make us a stronger nation," Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said.

But its future is still uncertain.

Supporters of the bill say it will help secure the U.S.-Mexico border by increasing the number of agents and the amount of fencing.

But opponents say there's no guarantee the border will actually be more secure because so much is left to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security.

"There's just no way I can look my constituents in the eye and tell them that today's assurances won't become tomorrow's disappointments," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

House Republicans want to make sure security measures are in place and working effectively before agreeing to a path to citizenship.

"People have to have confidence that the border is secure before anything else is really going to work," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "Otherwise we repeat the mistakes of 1986."

The immigration bill now heads to the House where it's sure to face tough challenges. Many House Republicans are working on their own immigration legislation.

Boehner said the House won't vote on any immigration bill until he's certain it will pass.

Meanwhile, speaking from Africa, President Obama applauded the Senate for passing the bill, saying it brings the country a step closer to fixing the broken immigration system.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.