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Wisconsin U.S. Senators split vote on immigration bill

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin cast a split vote on Thursday, when the U.S. Senate passed an historic immigration reform package.

Tammy Baldwin joined all 51 other Democrats in supporting the measure.

Ron Johnson joined 31 other Republicans in voting no. Fourteen GOP senators and two independents voted yes, as the reform bill passed 68-to-32.

Johnson said there was a lot to like in the Senate package – including a more workable system for the 40-percent of Wisconsin dairy workers who are immigrants.

In the end, Johnson said he concluded that the package would not solve the nation’s current immigration problem.

He agreed with a Congressional Budget Office estimate that seven-and-a-half million more undocumented immigrants would move into the U.S. by 2033.

Johnson said it would only cause more confusion and fear in the next generation of those immigrants’ families.

The Senate endorsed a path to citizenship for the country’s 11-million undocumented immigrants – and it called for massive spending increases to secure the U.S. border with Mexico.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner now says his chamber will take up its own immigration package. He refused to say if anything could make him support a pathway to citizenship, but he said securing the border was a top priority.

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