By Daniel Strauss - 06/25/13 11:55 AM EDT
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday said that an amendment advanced by the Senate would leave the U.S. with the “most militarized border” since the fall of the Berlin Wall and pave the way for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
"The legislation concerning beefed up border security removes any validity to the argument that border security is not sufficient," McCain said of the amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) in an interview on CNN.
The amendment to the Gang of Eight immigration bill would increase the number of patrol agents by 20,000 and fund the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, and was designed to attract Republican support. Many GOP lawmakers have resisted the immigration reform bill, arguing it did little to strengthen border enforcement.
The measure advanced in the Senate on a 67-27 vote late Monday, gaining 15 GOP votes and boosting hopes that immigration reform could pass the upper chamber with a strong majority.
Immigration reform advocates hope that a strong vote will give the issue momentum headed to the GOP-controlled House.
"This is a border security measure which I think should suffice to satisfy any critic and it is a tough way forward and it is a way forward, a tough way forward so that we can resolve this and bring 11 million people out of the shadows," McCain said on Tuesday touting the measure.
The Senate is expected to hold its final vote on the immigration bill later this week.
This story was updated at 8:57 a.m.