And for Republicans, the tone and tenor of the debate could have significant implications across the party as they fight to regain their standing among Latino voters. In the 2012 presidential election, Obama won nearly 75 percent of the Latino vote.
The politics get fuzzy for senators from conservative border states, like Texas and Arizona, and is even more uncertain in the House, where fewer than 60 percent of lawmakers preside over Latino populations that are over 10 percent of total districts.
"This bill will crash and burn in the House, and it was designed to do so," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on the Senate floor following the vote, arguing that the bill would never get the traction it needed to pass in the House.
GOP lawmakers who support overhauling the country's immigration system say that Republicans have to consider the long-term outlook.
"If you want to be a congressional party, fine, I'd like to also be a party that could win the White House," Graham says.