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PODCAST: Amped up border patrol, higher ed degree control

The immigration reform bill passed by the Senate increases the number of new Customs and Border Patrol officers and adds billions more to pay for border security, mostly on the southern border.

Increasingly, economists and other social scientists are identifying evidence of a "consumer arms race" -- that in order to keep up, many middle class Americans are shelling out cash for goods and services in order to keep up with the rich and almost-rich. Case in point: personal trainers for kids.

Tis the season for caps and gowns and college diplomas. For a lot of new graduates it's also time to start paying back those student loans. If you're wondering how long that might take, it depends on your profession. Want to pay off your student loans in about 6 years? Get a degree in advertising or marketing. But according to BankRate.com, if you become a librarian, plan on shelling out monthly payments for over two decades.

This week starts the big dance on immigration reform, when the Gang of Eight’s bipartisan bill comes to the Senate floor on Tuesday, June 11. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill would provide a path to work-permission -- and ultimately, citizenship -- for most of the undocumented. It would also provide more skilled foreign workers for American employers. Last week, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas proposed an amendment that would more than double border-security spending in the current bill -- from $4.5 billion to $10 billion (an additional $1 billion each year for six years).

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio
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