Doubts set testy tone at Senate immigration hearing

Republican senators insisted Wednesday that the Obama administration must secure the border before serious talk can begin on the future of illegal immigrants in the country. The Senate's first hearing on proposals to alter the status of about 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. was a contentious one in which senators berated the Department of Homeland Security secretary and speakers were interrupted repeatedly. Immigrant advocates lined up as early as 7 a.m. to get into the scheduled 9:30 a.m. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., opened the hearing by saying "now is the time" to reach a compromise on illegal immigration. GOP senators suggested such a compromise cannot come without a guarantee that the flow of more illegal immigrants into the country will cease.

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