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Baldwin, Johnson vote for U.S. Senate floor debate on immigration bill

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Both of Wisconsin’s U-S senators voted twice yesterday to proceed with a debate and amendments on the contentious immigration bill. The package cleared some major procedural hurdles, when requests to place it on the Senate floor and open it for amendments each got more than 80 votes.

Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Ron Johnson were among those paving the way for Senate consideration. In the end, Johnson said he would only support a package that includes stronger border security, and a plan to address the nation’s 11-million undocumented immigrants that has both “humanity” and “common sense.”

The current version of the bill lays out a 13-year path to citizenship to those arriving illegally through 2011 or who over-stayed their visas. Four senators from each party drafted the package – which also includes tighter border security, a new program for low-skilled workers to enter the U-S, and more visas for workers who are in-demand at high-tech industries. Supporters are confident to get the required 60 votes for passage by July Fourth.

G-O-P minority leader Mitch McConnell says the package has “serious flaws.” He wants even tighter border security, as does Johnson – plus stronger terms on those seeking legal status.