Reid: Some Republicans are using border enforcement to kill immigration reform

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 84-15 to proceed to debating the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Senate will continue to work on the bill throughout June.

“It’s a sign of progress that this legislation has not been stopped procedurally,” Reid said. “I hope we can finish this legislation and send it to the House.”

The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

Some Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty over 10 to 13 years for the nearly 11 million residents living in the U.S. illegally before strengthening border enforcement. 

“There is one thing this bill should not — and will not — do, and that is make citizenship contingent on border security measures that are not attainable,” Reid said.

The bill makes permanent legal residence contingent on the Department of Homeland Security having 100 percent situational awareness at every segment of the southern border and a 90 percent apprehension rate. 

But some Republicans have suggested that the bill gives the DHS too much say over whether the border is secure, leaving Congress powerless to stop the amnesty program if security measures aren’t met. There are several amendments being introduced to strengthen border enforcement or require that the border be secure before anyone starts a path to citizenship.

Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio won’t say if Trump would keep US safe Clinton fails to contain damage from email leaks Five takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainYes, let’s set politics aside on sage grouse conservation Democrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Obama's right to tackle redistricting, but it won't be easy MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamVulnerable GOP senator questions opponent's American heritage Trump on primary rivals who don't back him: 'I don't know how they live with themselves' The Trail 2016: Who is really winning? MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeThe Trail 2016: Wikissues Democrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Flake gets early 2018 primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerFive takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate Chasing away scalpers only hurts consumers Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezWarren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetCruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed Senate poll raises Republican hopes in Pennsylvania, Florida Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.