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Forum News Service, Published June 18 2013

Thune's border fence plan defeated in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate defeated a requirement sought Tuesday by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., to build a border fence before setting undocumented immigrants on a so-called path to citizenship.

The amendment failed on a 54-39 vote.

Thune, who hasn't been vocal on the immigration issue, plans to submit four more amendments to the massive immigration reform bill.

On Tuesday, he criticized his colleagues who voted against the border fence amendment, which would have required 700 miles of double-layer fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border. Congress passed a law to build the fence seven years ago, but little of it has been completed.

"Our immigration system is broken and must be fixed," Thune said in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, each time Congress has tried to fix our immigration system, promises to secure our border are never upheld. The completion of the fence required by current law would be a tangible demonstration that Congress and this administration are serious about border security."

The other amendments Thune plans to offer include giving states a say in the federal plan and increasing the number of border patrol agents.