Nightly News   |  June 27, 2013

Senate passes immigration bill

In the first overhaul of immigration law in decades the Senate has passed a bill forged by Democrats and Republicans that could grant 11 million undocumented immigrants with legal status and a path to citizenship. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

Share This:

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

>> this was a history-making day across town on capitol hill . as the u.s. senate finally passed a sweeping immigration reform bill, it gives hope to millions living here illegally, while it will also tighten security along the border. the vote was 68-32. nbc's kelly o'donnell covering all day, coming to us tonight with details from the hill.

>> good evening, brian. this is proof of a cultural shift in our country. democrats and republicans passed a compromise that could bring dramatic change to an immigration system that just about everyone says is broken. on the capitol steps today, waiting and hopeful undocumented immigrants who say they want this flag to be their own.

>> this is saying don't deport my father. everyone deserves to be with their parents.

>> reporter: the vice president came to preside.

>> a good day.

>> reporter: the first immigration overhaul in almost 30 years. a solemn touch, voting from their desks. 14 republicans joined all democrats in favor. chants of yes, we can, from the gallery. the senate plan forged by a group of democrats and republicans, it could grant illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. create a guest worker program, and more border agents and border fence .

>> isn't it in us to bring 11 million people out of the shadows?

>> reporter: republican opponents label it amnesty. it could drive down wages here.

>> don't we need to consider the impact that this could have on working americans?

>> reporter: new jersey democrat robert menendez voted in honor of his immigrant mother.

>> my mother, who came from cuba, worked hard and made it possible for me to stand here today on the verge of passing an historic piece of legislation that she would have wanted me to vote for.

>> reporter: risking his future ambitions by going against the conserve tiff bative base, marco rubio voted in honor of his past.

>> he wrote i am looking for work.

>> reporter: republicans in the house don't like this plan, want to write their own. they don't believe border security will actually happen and reforms will actually stop illegal immigration . brian.

>> kelly o'donnell on the hill,