McConnell said the Gang of Eight bill failed to learn from mistakes made in the 1986 immigration reform. He said the legislation doesn’t do enough to secure the border before granting legal status to the 11 million illegal immigrants.

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“If you can’t be reasonably certain that the border is secure as a condition of legalization, there’s just no way to be sure that millions more won’t follow the illegal immigrants who are already here,” McConnell said.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 69-29 to adopt a “border security surge” amendment to address some Republican concerns on border security.

Crafted by Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs GOP senator demands details on 'damaging' tariffs MORE (R-Tenn.) and John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border GOP senators want NAFTA deal from Trump by Labor Day Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA MORE (R-N.D.), the border security plan authorizes increasing the number of border patrol agents by 20,000 and constructing 700 miles of fencing. Those border security measures would have to be met within 10 years in order for immigrants to apply for green cards.

Critics have said that those are still just “promises” since people would be granted provisional legal status. But Corker argues his additions would create five border security triggers.

Later Thursday, the Senate will vote to end debate on the immigration reform bill, S. 744. Unless a deal is reached to hold a vote on final passage sooner, the vote will be Friday afternoon.