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Immigration reform survives first bout on Senate floor

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WASHINGTON– The so-called “immigration reform” survived its first major test on the Senate floor.

Tuesday, 82 senators voted to keep the landmark immigration overhaul alive.

Many voted to allow a full debate on the plan to improve border security and create a path toward citizenship.

However, they stressed that doesn’t mean they are ready to pass it.

Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the “Gang of Eight” who drafted the bill, campaigned for its future.

His fellow conservatives say they are ready for a fight.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R) Kentucky, said, “In the days ahead, there will need to be major changes to this bill if it’s going to become law.”

Republicans say they want to strengthen border security requirements and limit tax credits and other benefits for immigrants.

Other leaders say the current system threatens the U.S. economy and encourages crime.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill’s final passage before July 4.

After that, the proposal moves to the Republican-led House where it faces a tougher audience.