(June 20) Today's Top Headlines - Senators reach border deal, pave way for immigration overhaul - Tucson Local Media: Today's Headlines

(June 20) Today's Top Headlines - Senators reach border deal, pave way for immigration overhaul

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 5:43 am

According to an NBC News report - A bipartisan group of senators are expected to announce they have reached an agreement to strengthen border security in the Senate's immigration bill, a breakthrough that could pave the way for a significant number of GOP senators to support the comprehensive legislation.

Senate aides from both parties tell NBC News that the agreement would double the size of the border patrol and require 700 miles of border fencing. The group has also compromised on a serious of other issues, including the E-Verify program for businesses and benefits.

The senators involved -- Republicans John Hoeven and Bob Corker, who have been working with Gang of 8 members Sens. Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, John McCain and Lindsey Graham -- have dubbed it the "border surge" plan; they're preparing a Thursday announcement.

"What we're trying to do is put in place measures that to any reasonable person would be an overwhelming effort to secure our border short of shooting anybody who comes across the border," Graham told reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday as the agreement was being considered by both Republicans and Democrats.

"I know this is a key moment in the effort to pass this bill. This is sort of the defining 24 to 36 hours," Graham added.

Hours later, Senate aides outlined the details of the planned agreement. It would replace the border security provisions in the comprehensive bill that passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee. The plan would offer a path to citizenship for the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants; according to the Congressional Budget Office, it would add 10.4 million people to the population and save the government billions in the next two decades.

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