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Is Border Security Addressed in 'Gang of Eight' Immigration Bill?

In a decisive 84-15 vote Tuesday, the U.S. Senate has pushed forward the comprehensive immigration reform bill first championed by the bipartisan 'Gang of Eight' that is set to immediately impact the lives of U.S. employers, future legal immigrants, and the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country now.

The bill was 'yes' voted by both the Senate Majority and Minority Leader, three of the four 'Gang of Eight' Senators. with McCain not voting; and over 25 other Republicans including Sens. John Cornyn (Texas), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Rand Paul (Ky.). The 15 'no' votes were all Republicans, including Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Mark Kirk (Illinois), and Ted Cruz (Texas).

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did support the bill, he warned from the floor that he will not vote for the bill on final passage if changes are not made to strengthen border security and make sure illegal immigrants are not rewarded with benefits and tax credits.

“The Gang of Eight has done its work. Now it’s time for the Gang of 100 to do its work — for the entire Senate to have its say on this issue, and see if we can do something to improve the status quo," McConnell said. "At the risk of stating the obvious, this bill has serious flaws.

“I’ll vote to debate it and for the opportunity to amend it, but in the days ahead there will need to be major changes to this bill if it’s going to become law. These include, but are not limited to, the areas of border security, government benefits, and taxes."

House Speaker John Boehner will now be tasked with taking on immigration reform in his chamber, where a bloc of Republicans including Rep. Paul Ryan are working on legislation that will include a path to citizenship.

“I've got real concerns about the Senate bill, especially in the area of border security and internal enforcement of the system," Boehner said in a recent interview with ABC. "I'm concerned that it doesn't go far enough.”

On 'Real News' Tuesday the panel discussed the size and scope of the Senate bill, and what Republican Senators like John Corryn are doing to make sure border security benchmarks are met before the bill is legalized. The Washington Examiner's Byron York reprots on the Cornynmethod to assure border security first:

 So now, Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, is preparing to introduce an amendment that not only reaffirms the 100 percent-90 percent structure — it requires that those standards must be met before any registered provisional immigrants would be allowed to apply for legal permanent resident status. It’s just like the  Gang of Eight bill, except that it would actually demand that the border be secure before legal permanent resident status is granted.

Watch the panel discuss this amendment and the immigration reform overhaul below:

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