With Senate Agreement Imminent, Public Phase of Immigration Debate Set To Begin

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
A group of senators trying to forge a bipartisan immigration bill say they

This Aug. 5, 2008, file photo, shows the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building Phoenix. The U.S. Supreme Court will struggle this week with the validity of an Arizona law that tries to keep illegal immigrants from voting by demanding all state residents show documents proving their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in national elections.

WASHINGTON - - A group of senators trying to forge a bipartisan immigration bill say they're hoping to avoid mistakes of the past.

Sen. John McCain, a leader of the eight senators negotiating the legislation, says "There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal because everybody didn't get what they wanted." The Arizona Republican tells CBS, "There are entrenched positions on both sides of this issue."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, also in the group, says "There's a long road." The New York Democrat tells CBS, "There are people on both sides who are against this bill, and they will be able to shoot at it."

Schumer says "All of us have said that there will be no agreement until the eight of us agree to a big, specific bill, but hopefully we can get that done by the end of the week."

The measure would help secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

The negotiators are also pledging to move the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee and onto the floor according to what's known in Senate jargon as "regular order," trying to head off complaints from conservatives that the legislation is being rammed through.

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