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Editorial: Senate steps up on major U.S. issue if immigration

The U.S. Senate took a major step Thursday in approving a nearly 1,200-page and historic legislation that could overhaul the immigration laws and offer possible citizenship to millions living in America’s shadows.

If approved in the House, this immigration legislation would be the first overhaul of the nation’s immigration law since 1986.

This historic Senate legislation was initially drafted by a so-called “Gang of Eight.” This group, all the individuals known to the public, consisted of four Democrats and four Republicans working together to propose major legislation.

The historic legislation faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House, where immigration reform opponents are expected to oppose the Senate version.

The Senate legislation provides a path to citizenship, but those seeking legal status must pass background checks, resolve any tax liability, pay a fee and pay a fine.

Additionally, the Senate legislation provides a workable plan to add more Border Patrol agents and completion of 700 miles of fencing and other security measures along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Finally, the legislation includes a program to have businesses check the legal status of all prospective employees.

The Senate has taken a major step toward resolving America’s immigration challenge.

Now the challenge moves to the House.