With the U.S. Senate debating immigration reform, Sen. John Thune had proposed an amendment requiring 350 miles of border fence be constructed before giving immigrants here illegally “registered provisional immigrant” status and another 350 miles be built before RPIs could apply for green cards. Thune notes that only 36 miles of this fence have been built.
Thune’s amendment was rejected today by the U.S. Senate, with 39 yes votes and 54 no votes. It fell 21 votes short of the 60-vote threshold needed for passage, with almost all Democrats (vulnerable incumbent Sens. Mark Pryor and Joe Manchin voted yes) and some pro-immigration reform Republicans like Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio opposed.
Sen. Tim Johnson voted against Thune’s amendment.
EDIT: For some of these Democrats (though not Johnson) today’s vote was a change of heart. In 2009 a number of Democrats voted for a bill requiring the border fence to be built.