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Attention Turns to Vote-Counting on Immigration

(Photo Courtesy MGN Online)

(Photo Courtesy MGN Online)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Backers of far-reaching immigration legislation are turning their attention to courting support and counting votes after the Senate pushed the contentious bill over early procedural hurdles.

Two votes to place the bill formally before the Senate and open for amendments each drew more than 80 votes Tuesday, reflecting a bipartisan desire to debate the legislation to remake the nation’s immigration laws and open the door to citizenship to millions.

Despite the lopsided votes, Republicans served notice they will seek to toughen the bill’s border security provisions and impose tougher terms on those seeking to gain legal status.

The bill’s authors were looking for ways to accept Republican amendments on border security and other issues that could win over additional supporters without making the path to citizenship too onerous.