Immigration legislation cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. Senate today without the votes of Kansas' two senators.
Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, both Republicans, voted against the so-called border surge amendment.
The amendment, which would double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol and complete 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, was supported, 67-27 with 15 Republicans voting for it.
The over-60 vote support on the procedural vote to end debate, clears the way for more votes later in the week with final Senate consideration possibly Friday.
The underlying measure sets up a pathway to citizenship for approximately 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.
If the White House-backed bill gains Senate approval, it faces an uncertain future in the House.
Moran voted against the amendment and said he opposed the immigration bill because it attempts to do too much.
“Our immigration system is broken, and our borders are not secure," Moran said in a statement.
"Rather than focus on solving one or two issues at a time and delivering the reforms Americans are asking for, the Senate has chosen to lump every immigration and border security problem together into one massive and flawed bill," he said.
The Kansas Business Coalition, which is composed of 25 organizations, including the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, had urged the Kansas congressional delegation to support immigration reform.
"The Kansas Economy needs people to grow. The majority of population growth in Kansas is attributable to immigrants," said Brian Hemann, a dairyman from Hugoton, and a member of the coalition.