FORT MYERS, FL--After several test votes the Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration bill that will clear the way for millions of illegal immigrants to gain american citizenship. But this bill is in danger of not going very far.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has already signaled the legislation does not stand a chance in the GOP controlled house.
The major sticking point for several republicans is the pathway to citizenship. Many are opposed to giving what they call amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
Right here in southwest Florida many are sounding off on what this immigration overhaul could do for our area.
"I just fell in love with this country," said Jorge Cala.
Cala is from Argentina, he's been here in the US for 28 years. Four weeks ago, Cala became a citizen.
"That was my dream. A dream come true I say," said Cala.
Cala owns a business and has three children. He says giving the nearly 11-million illegal immigrants a better way to get their citizenship would make the American dream even greater.
He also says it's the immigrants that are willing to put in the hard work.
"Nobody will go to Labelle or in other places in the farm to pick up tomatoes, potatoes, it's very hard," said Cala.
But several people we spoke to say the pathway to citizenship is a bad idea.
"I don't think that everyone should have the right to just be able to get in," said Maci Worth.
Immigration attorney, Ricardo Skerrett, says those new immigrants would be a big boost to the US economy...
He says it would add jobs, pay into social security and medicare and even boost tourism and real estate.
"That would be an incentive for snowbirds for example to buy houses here and to stay longer here," said Skerrett.
The bill would also beef up border security by adding 20,000 border agents and 700 miles of fencing.
But Congressman Trey Radel says the bill doesn't have any teeth.
"The Senate bill may say that they are going to add these many border agents or add this many miles of fence, but the reality is, they leave it to departments," said Radel.
In the Senate's bill, immigrants would have to be eligible to apply for their citizenship and be cleared by the Department of Homeland Security.