Among other things, Rubio has discussed strengthening the "triggers" that require certain steps to be taken before a path to citizenship can begin.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security testified Tuesday that the U.S.-Mexico border is more secure than ever but they said the provisions in the bill would help them make it even stronger. They praised the pending legislation for directing more resources to the agency for surveillance equipment and for authorizing 3,500 new Border Patrol officers.
The hearing touched briefly on the Boston Marathon bombings, which exposed some failures, including an apparent lack of communication among federal agencies when one of the alleged bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, traveled to Russia last year. A student from Kazakhstan accused of hiding evidence for one of the bombers also was allowed to return to the U.S. in January without a valid student visa.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., an author of the immigration bill, said the legislation could be amended to address any such problems, particularly in the areas of humanitarian visas and student visas.
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