Immigration bill now looks very likely to clear senate with 70 votes
Major breakthrough reported in negotiations ahead of vote next week
It now looks likely that a test vote on the new immigration bill will take place in the U.S. senate by Monday.
While the vote will be a test supporters now believe they have close to 70 votes in favor of passage. A final vote is expected later next week.
The comprehensive bill includes an Irish provision for E3 visas which would allow 10,000 working visas a year for irish immigrants.
The breakthrough in the bill came when several hardline provisions on border security were added.
Several key Republicans, including Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have now climbed on board.
The bi-partisan gang of eight believe they now have enough votes to send a very strong message to the House that they need to pass a version of the bill.
"Hopefully as congressmen look how their senators voted, they will be influenced by it," said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York the key figure behind the bill.
However those opposed say the bill can still be stopped and that the bill does not go far enough in curbing illegal immigration.
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said "Time and again, politicians have promised, promised, promised. But they never delivered, delivered, delivered. And that’s a fact," he said.
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