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Washington (CNN) — The U.S. Senate gave final approval Thursday to a roughly 1,200-page bill that promises to overhaul immigration laws for the first time since 1986, creating a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented residents while ratcheting up security along the Mexican border.

Senators passed the sweeping legislation — initially drafted by the four Democrats and four Republicans in the chamber’s so-called “Gang of Eight” — by a 68-32 vote.

Fourteen Republicans joined a united Democratic caucus in supporting the bill, which is backed by the White House and has the potential to become the crowning legislative achievement of President Barack Obama’s second term.

In a White House statement, Obama hailed the Senate vote as “a critical step” toward fixing what he called a broken immigration system. He labeled the measure that now goes to the Republican-controlled House a compromise, adding that “we just need Congress to finish the job.”

The Senate vote included a rare adherence to old-fashioned protocol. Vice President Joe Biden presided in his constitutional capacity as head of the Senate, and senators voted one-by-one from their desks, calling out “aye” or “no.”

  1. Ramanpreet Reply

    EEEEEKKKKKK OMG I am so excited and can’t beivlee it is finally your turn!!! My dear friend please know how happy we are for you and your family and I cannot wait to see the pictures of your other beauty halfway around the world waiting for you!!!Z is going to make a GREAT big sister:)

  2. Choi Reply

    So my partner’s ( who is in England) stundet visa is about to expire. Instead of her reapplying, we are planning to get married and live here( Canada) instead. I am a Canadian Citizen and of age. Do we have to get married in England or Canada? What are the forms do we have fill out? Or take any necessary actions? I’ve looked into citizenship immigration Canada but there isn’t any info about sponsoring partners ( other than spouse). Help! Her visa is ending soon!

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