As debate started on Wednesday on amendments to the Senate immigration bill, border security emerged as a focal point, with supporters and doubters agreeing that those provisions would have to be strengthened to attract more votes, especially from Republicans.

“In order to bring conservatives to this cause, those who want immigration reform must understand that a real solution must ensure that our borders are secure,” said Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Republican who is one of those conservatives.

Mr. Paul, a libertarian close to the Tea Party movement, said he supported the bill’s purpose of creating a pathway to legal status for illegal immigrant workers, but would not vote for it without tougher border provisions.

The eight senators who wrote the overhaul bill say they are open to changes, but not to altering its core: a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants now in the country illegally, with a sequence of border measures, known as triggers, along the way.

via Immigration Amendments Reflect Concern About Border Security –