April 11, 2013
The Senateâ€™s pending immigration bill sets aside $3.5 billion for additional surveillance of the countryâ€™s southern border, or roughly $1.79 million per mile of the 1,954 mile border, according to leaked reports in The New York Times and other media.
But $3.5 billion is only a small portion of what opponents and advocates say would be needed to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border to seek low-wage jobs in communities where many American families are already struggling to make a decent living.
The 1,500-page bill will provide conditional legalization to at least 11 million illegal immigrants. Initially, applicants would get work permits, but they would be allowed to get valuable green cards after five years, and then citizenship, if government officials declare the border is fully monitored and the illegal inflow through some portions has been cut by 90 percent.