The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest pro-business group, and the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor union, reached an agreement on a guest worker program, paving the way for a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill to be drafted and moved in the Senate.
The bill is expected to include an earned pathway to U.S. citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently here, improve border security, and help American businesses deal with the demand for both high-skilled and low-skilled workers.
Members of the bipartisan “Gang of 8” that have been working on the immigration issue in the Senate sounded optimistic after the announcement of the business-labor compromise. One notable exception was Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who took a more measured and cautious tone. Rubio said that much progress had been made, but that a deal had not yet been finalized. Rubio also stressed the need for an open legislative process that would allow for significant debate and for members to offer amendments to any legislation moved on this issue.