WASHINGTON (May 9, 2013)--A far-reaching immigration bill survived an early test Thursday, as two of its Republican authors sided with Democrats to vote against strengthening border-security provisions.
Supporters of the bill said the real effect of the amendment by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley would have been to delay citizenship indefinitely for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
It would have required the government to maintain control of the U.S.-Mexico border for six months before those immigrants could get legal status.
The vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee was 12 to 6 against the amendment.
Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona voted with the Democratic majority.
The Judiciary Committee began meeting Thursday on hundreds of amendments to the bill.