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A key vote in the U.S. Senate today means a big step forward on immigration reform.

Senate Democrats and Republicans voted to open debate on the "Gang of Eight" immigration reform bill.

Under the bill, millions of illegal immigrants could have a path to citizenship.

They would have to pass a criminal background chec, learn English, pay taxes and fees, and pay at least $2,000 in fines.

Both North Carolina Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr voted in favor of the debate today.

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page is going to Washington D.C. Thursday to speak to a House committee on immigrationreform. He wants to convince Hagan and Burr to oppose the bill.

"Now is the time that we need to stand up for what we believe in, which is protecting the citizens of the United States and protecting this country," he said.