Senate opens debate on immigration bill, first votes expected Tuesday

The Senate has opened debate on far-reaching legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration system and offer the promise of citizenship to millions.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada began what will be weeks of deliberations on the Senate floor by declaring the immigration system broken and praising the bipartisan bill. He said it is commonsense reform that would make the country safer and help immigrants living in the nation illegally get right with the law.

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama countered that the bill will not succeed in ending illegal immigration as its authors claim. Instead Sessions said the bill offers amnesty without ever enforcing the law.

Friday's session was given over to debate and the first votes will come Tuesday on moving forward on the bill.