Nightly News   |  June 20, 2013

New bipartisan compromise would increase border agents

The biggest objection from Republican opponents is that the new plan would not prevent future waves of illegal immigration. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> what could be a big break through and a long and drawn out but you are gent fight over immigration reform , going on in congress. a compromise on border security , this one has the potential to garner overwhelming support in the senate. kelly o'donnell following things all day has the report from the hill. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. what the senate is working on could bring about the biggest political and cultural change we have seen in the last 30 years. today it feels like a momentum shift intended to bring along more republican support. the southern border with mexico is only one way undocumented immigrants gain entry into the u.s., but the biggest roadblock to any political solution.

>> we need to fix this. and this is our chance to fix it.

>> reporter: congress is wrestling with how to grant legal stat to us students like these and others, who are undocumented. among an estimated 11 million in the country illegally. but there is fierce opposition, demanding more border security before any path to citizenship. today, a potential break through.

>> some people have described this as a border surge. and the fact is, that we are investing resources and securing our border that have never been invested before.

>> reporter: a new bipartisan compromise would add 20,000 border agents, nearly doubling the force. and extend the fence to 700 miles before green cards could be added.

>> a boarder patrol agent on the border 24/7.

>> do the math, 20,000 people out there armed.

>> reporter: it would require proof of citizenship for workers. the biggest objection, it won't prevent future waves of illegal immigration .

>> we believe in immigration, we want to be compassionate and helpful for people that have been here a long time, but we have to have a system that works in the future.

>> reporter: speaken john boehner told cnbc congress should go slowly.

>> if we don't have a secure border and a way to enforce immigration laws , none of this will work.

>> reporter: many opponents don't believe that