Senators say bipartisan immigration reform will include citizenship path

Top Senate Democrats and Republicans said Sunday the bipartisan legislation on immigration reform to be announced this week will include a one-step, comprehensive bill that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States.

“We are committed to a comprehensive approach to immigration that we can live with,” Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin told “Fox News Sunday.”

Durbin is part of the six-member, bipartisan Senate group working on the legislation.

Citizenship has been a sticking point in previous efforts, particularly among Capitol Hill Republicans. However, they appear willing to accept the path to citizenship, in part, so long as the legislation also includes tighter border security.

Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker told Fox he is optimistic but “details matter.”

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    “We’re at the talking points stage,” he said. “We need to get to the legislation.”

    Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, also part of the group, said members will release the guiding principles of the legislation this week, but more work is need on the legislation.

    “I’m quietly optimistic we can get it done,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”

    McCain, a key player in the 2007 effort on immigration reform, also acknowledged that President Obama’s overwhelming support among Hispanics in the November elections was a wakeup call to Republicans that they need to do more to reach out to that growing part of the population.

    The group has been working since the November elections on the legislation and is expected to have a complete bill by March or April.

    Meanwhile, the president is scheduled to go to Las Vegas on Tuesday to talk about fixing “the broken immigration system this year,” according to the administration.

    The other members of the Senate group are South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham; New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, Florida Republican Marco Rubio and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, who leads the subcommittee in which the legislative action starts.