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U.S. Senate approves landmark immigration bill


08:19, June 28, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate voted 68 to 32 on Thursday to pass a landmark comprehensive immigration bill, which tops President Barack Obama's second-term domestic agenda and advances to even greater uncertainties in the House of Representatives.

Vice President Joe Biden, who presided the roll call from the Senate's dais, announced that the bill had been approved by 68 to 32 in the 100-member chamber, more than the majority needed to send the measure to the House.

Obama, on a visit to Africa, moved quickly to applaud the Senate's approval.

"Today, with a strong bipartisan vote, the United States Senate delivered for the American people, bringing us a critical step closer to fixing our broken immigration system once and for all," said Obama in a statement.

He urged the Congress to "finish its job" and warned those stakeholders to "keep a watchful eye."

"Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop common-sense reform from becoming a reality. We can not let that happen," he said.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy hailed the vote which marked an end to years of gridlock on immigration, saying "Today is another historic day in the Senate."

The Senate bill now may serve as the biggest boost in decades for the immigration overhaul to become legislation, but is well expected to meet greater resistance from the House of Representatives.

The bill provides 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country with an earned path to citizenship, which has been opposed by many Republicans in the lower chamber of Congress.

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