Immigration bill passes U.S. Senate

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., two of the authors of the immigration reform bill crafted by the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight," shake hands. (Photo: AP)

The bill that passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday offers a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

It gives them legal status, but bans them from government social programs like welfare while they wait at least 13 years to apply. The plan also expands visas for low-skilled workers and entrepreneurs, requiring employers to check the legal status of every worker.

Border security is reportedly what helped the bill move along, as a critical element of the plan doubles the number of agents on the border to 40,000. The 700-mile fence would also have to be completed under the plan.

Some argue now that the real struggle begins in the House of Representatives. Politico’s Dan Berman says Speaker John Boehner is already hinting at what may serve to divide in the House next month.

“"The real division is on the pathway to citizenship," explains Berman." It's on the idea of amnesty and legalization before the border fence is built."