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US Senate Moves Toward Immigration Overhaul

The U.S. Senate is moving toward passage of a contentious overhaul of the country's immigration laws.

Senators voted overwhelmingly Thursday (68-32) to cut off debate on the measure, and were set for a final vote later in the day.

The legislation would create a path -- over a 13-year period -- to allow 11 million immigrants already in the country without documentation to gain U.S. citizenship. At the same time, the overhaul calls for much tighter security along the country's southern border with Mexico.

The legislation would provide for 20,000 more Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexican divide, add more than 1,100 kilometers of new fencing and call for monitoring of the border from the skies with a new collection of drones.

U.S. President Barack Obama supports the measure. But even if the Senate gives its final approval, the overhaul faces an uncertain fate in the House. Conservative Republicans in the House are opposed to granting what they say is amnesty for those illegally in the country, or a path to eventual citizenship.

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FILE - Police from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team take part in an anti-terrorist drill in Dongying, Shandong province, July 11, 2014.

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