WASHINGTON D.C. - Sweeping immigration legislation has cleared a key Senate hurdle with votes to spare, signaling likely passage later in the week for stepped-up security along the border with Mexico and a chance at citizenship for millions living in the country illegally.
The vote was 67-27, well above the 60 needed to advance.
The vote came as President Barack Obama campaigned from the White House in favor of the measure, while outnumbered conservative critics attacked it without letup in speeches and electronic appeals.
Senate passage on Thursday or Friday would send the issue to the House, where conservative Republicans in the majority oppose citizenship for anyone living in the country illegally.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)