And at the Washington Post, "Border deal greatly improves chances for immigration bill":
Prospects for the contentious immigration bill that has been working its way through the Senate for months vastly improved Thursday after senators agreed to spend several billion more dollars to fortify the U.S.-Mexico border.Continue reading.
The agreement calls for doubling the number of federal border agents at a cost of about $30 billion, the completion of 700 miles of fencing, and expanded radar and aerial drone surveillance at a time when the domestic use of unmanned aircraft is the subject of an acrimonious national debate.
The deal is expected to secure at least a dozen more Republican “yes” votes for the measure and could help ensure its passage by the sizable margin that proponents have said they need to make it viable in the House.
However, supporters say the chances of immigration legislation advancing in the GOP-controlled House remain a source of concern, and that concern has shaped the Senate negotiations from the outset.
Supporters have insisted that approval by a significant bipartisan majority of senators would politically compel House Republicans to vote on the Senate bill even as its members debate more limited and conservative proposals. But that is an untested proposition, and Thursday’s failure in the House of a federal farm bill, after the Senate passed its version 66-27 last week, only deepened the concerns.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) sought Thursday to tamp down expectations about immigration, saying that “regardless of what the Senate does, the House is going to work its will.”
Still, there was optimism in the Senate on Thursday following the announcement of the border security agreement. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the overall bill “is gaining Republican support” and that the new agreement “will be very helpful.”