Public Phase Of Immigration Debate Set To Begin

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The public debate over the nation's immigration system is set to begin in earnest this week as senators finalize a bipartisan bill to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living here illegally.

Negotiators are cautioning there will be struggles ahead for an issue that's defied resolution for years. An immigration deal came close on the Senate floor in 2007 but collapsed amid interest group bickering and an angry public backlash.

Sen. John McCain tells CBS' "Face the Nation,": "There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal because everybody didn't get what they wanted." The Arizona Republican is leading a group of eight senators negotiating the legislation.

Appearing alongside McCain, Sen. Chuck Schumer adds, `'There are people on both sides who are against this bill, and they will be able to shoot at it." While the group missed a self-imposed deadline to have their bill ready in March, the New York Democrat says he hopes it will happen this week.

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