International Edition
Search Home Page -
CNN Exchange
Friday, May 18, 2007
Bipartisan immigration deal faces bipartisan battle

Sen. Kennedy, along with Arizona Sen. John McCain, discussed the bi-partisan immigration agreement Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Less than a day after a bipartisan group of senators announced a compromise bill aimed at tackling one of the most controversial issues on the docket, it became increasingly clear the immigration proposal will face tough opposition from both sides of the aisle.

The bill would offer the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants a path to United States citizenship. Some conservatives oppose what they call "amnesty" for illegal behavior, while some liberals call it unfair for limiting opportunities for unskilled workers. Lawmakers and interest groups alike quickly issued statements laying out their positions.

"Basically, when you give somebody benefits, when you give them a pathway to citizenship, when you allow them, starting January 1st, to stay here illegally, when you allow them to work here, that is amnesty. It's nothing but amnesty," Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, told CNN.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association, meanwhile, decried the proposal as "large-scale social experimentation," and singled out the "guest worker" program for precluding a path to permanent residence for new temporary workers.

"A practical solution for the undocumented population is an enormously important step in the right direction," the association said in a written statement. "But the cost of fixing our current problems cannot be the creation of bigger problems in the future."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement saying that while the agreement "can serve as a starting point" for debate when it gets to the Senate next week, he has "serious concerns about some aspects of the proposal."

Senators who helped draft the agreement pressed for support, arguing that the issue has long ended in a congressional stalemate.
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines