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WASHINGTON — Bickering across a deep divide, supporters of immigration legislation pushed back hard Wednesday against Republican demands for tougher border security measures before millions living illegally in the country could take the first steps toward U.S. citizenship.
Even modest changes were snared in the political crossfire that erupted on the first full day of debate on the measure, as the two sides failed to agree on terms for voting on seemingly non-controversial proposals such as granting tribal officials a place on a Border Oversight Task Force.
Public polling shows general support both for tougher border security and for allowing those living in the United States to gain citizenship after meeting certain legal, financial, and other conditions.