Immigration "reform" passed the Senate Thursday, 68 to 32. At first glance, this is the most votes any major immigration bill has gotten. In 1986, reform passed 62-24, and in 2006, it passed 62-36.
But when you dig deeper into the numbers, you'll find that support among Senate Republicans has fallen dramatically this time. In 1986, 29 Republicans voted for the immigration bill, which,
history has shown, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants but never secured the border. In 2006, border security was promised again, but this time 23 Republicans voted for the bill.
Flash forward to today, when just 14 Senate Republicans voted for the 1,200-page immigration bill.
Looking at percentages, you get the same picture. In 1986, 55 percent of Senate Republicans voted for the immigration bill; in 2006, 41 percent voted for the bill; and today, just 30 percent voted for the Senate immigration bill.
The change can most certainly be attributed to the aggressive opposition campaign from groups who felt the bill was too long, too expensive and didn't do enough to secure the border.
Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have increased their support for immigration reform bills. In 1986, 34 Democrats (72 percent) voted for the bill, while 8 voted against it; in 2006, 38 Democrats (86 percent) voted for the bill, while 6 voted against it; and today, 53 Democrats (100 percent) voted for the bill.