Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hamshire announced Sunday that she would support the contentious immigration bill that will be taken up by the chamber this week.
In an editorial posted to her Senate website, Ayotte argued that the bill proposed by the "Gang of Eight" senators will secure the border at the same time that it brings undocumented immigrants "out of the shadows."
"Moving to a more merit-based immigration system is good for our economy," Ayotte wrote. "By placing an emphasis on skills, we're harnessing the expertise and ingenuity of the most talented immigrants—especially those who have been educated in our colleges."
Ayotte's support adds crucial Republican backing to the bill, which faces an uncertain future after having GOP Senator Marco Rubio, who crafted the legislation, threaten last week to veto it unless new security restrictions were put into place.