Senate Takes Big Step Toward Immigration Reform Bipartisan proposal for $46B border security moves forward By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff Posted Jun 24, 2013 6:55 PM CDT 110 comments Comments Republican Senator James Inhofe speaks with Democratic Senator Bill Nelson outside the chamber after the immigration bill got more than 60 needed votes to advance in the Senate. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – The Senate cleared a key hurdle in the path toward immigration reform today, approving the advancement of an amendment that would devote an estimated $46 billion to strengthening US-Mexico border security with a vote of 67 to 27, reports Reuters. The amendment still has to be approved later this week (and is likely to be, says Reuters), but the vote bodes well for supporters of the immigration bill. The new amendment, hashed out by senators last week, would see the government add another 700 miles of border fence and employ 20,000 more law enforcement agents over 10 years. The plan is intended to allay the fears of Republicans concerned that once the immigration reform bill allows millions of undocumented immigrants a "path" to citizenship, the border will be overrun. With 15 Republicans voting with the Democrats today, it seems to have worked." We have tried to come up with something that is bipartisan so that it can move in the House," says Republican John Hoevan. "Hopefully it (the amendment) will encourage them to move forward."