Immigration bill survives filibuster, speeds toward passage

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“Trust me, this is more than a fig leaf,” Mr. Hatch said.

Rosemary Jenks, who has tracked immigration for years as government relations manager for NumbersUSA, said part of the difference this year is Democrats who are retiring and won’t have to face voters again.

“Some of them are retiring, which makes a big difference, like [Montana Sen. Max] Baucus. The others clearly don’t believe their constituents won’t hold them accountable for a vote like this,” Ms. Jenks said.

She said she was surprised at some of the other vote-switchers who said the 2007 bill was bad but are willing to embrace this year’s legislation. Ms. Jenks said that flies in the face of evidence from the Congressional Budget Office that this year’s bill is worse for workers in that it will drive down wages and boost unemployment in the near term.

And Ms. Jenks said senators who aren’t up for re-election for five more years and who think voters will have moved beyond this vote by then are mistaken. Already, her group is running ads in North Dakota and Tennessee asking if there are any Republicans who might want to run against Sens. John Hoeven and Bob Corker, the two lawmakers who helped boost the bill by adding Border Patrol agents.

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