(Washington, DC)  --  The Senate's immigration reform bill has cleared an important hurdle.  Opponents tried to block the measure from moving forward but fell short in a procedural vote, 82-15.  Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell voted to move forward but warned that major changes need to be made in the legislation, starting with boosting border security.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for final passage before the July 4th recess. 

The sweeping Senate bill is a bipartisan product of a so-called Gang of Eight.  The heart of the measure provides a path to citizenship for roughly eleven million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.  Critics are calling it amnesty.  Dozens of amendments will be debated and final passage remains an uncertain prospect in the deeply divided Senate.  Prospects are even murkier in the Republican-led House.