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As part of the potential immigration deal, Republicans and Democrats reached agreement on a costly, military-style surge to secure the leaky U.S.-Mexican border. The move would potentially clear the way for Senate passage of legislation that would give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at U.S. citizenship.

Lawmakers in both parties described a southern border that would be bristling with law enforcement manpower and technology as a result of legislation at the top of President Obama’s second-term domestic policy agenda. The emerging deal called for a doubling of the Border Patrol, with 20,000 new agents, 18 new unmanned surveillance drones, 350 miles of new fencing, and an array of fixed and mobile devices to maintain vigilance.

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