WASHINGTON (AP) – The formal introduction of a bipartisan Senate immigration bill is sparking intense debate on Capitol Hill and beyond, as lawmakers and groups on all sides digest the 844-page legislation to enact sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration laws.
The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” was filed around 2 a.m. Wednesday by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. In an unusual move, lawmakers kept the Senate open late. They had promised to deliver the legislation Tuesday and wanted to give other lawmakers as much time as possible to review it before a Friday hearing.
Some Republicans criticized the bill as amnesty, while some groups on the left said it was unnecessarily punitive.
President Barack Obama says the bill is a compromise that doesn’t give anyone everything they want – including him. But he urges the Senate to move it forward.