WASHINGTON - The Senate has passed historic immigration legislation offering the hope of American citizenship to millions, while promising a military-style surge to secure the border.
The vote was 68-32, far more than the majority needed to send the measure to the House. Prospects there are not nearly as good and many conservatives are opposed.
Vice President Joe Biden presided, and senators cast their votes from their desks, both steps reserved for momentous votes.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., right, two of the authors of the immigration reform bill crafted by the Senate's bipartisan 'Gang of Eight,' shakes hands on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 27, 2013, prior to the final vote. The historic legislation would dramatically remake the U.S. immigration system and require a tough new focus on border security.
The bill, a priority for President Barack Obama, would amount to the most sweeping changes in decades to the nation's immigration laws.