Senate returns from recess to finalize immigration reform bill

Senators returned from recess on April 8, and they expect to have a finalized plan for immigration reform by the end of the week. Reuters explained that senators in the bipartisan “Group of Eight” have resolved all major issues in a pending deal and that their staffs are putting the bill into legislative language. Senator Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.) said that he is hopeful that a bill will be ready to present to the public very soon.

“We hope that we can have a bipartisan agreement among the eight of us on comprehensive immigration reform by the end of the week,” Schumer said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “Over the last two weeks, we’ve made great progress. There have been kerfuffles along the way, but each one of those, thus far, has been settled.”

Still, lawmakers need to finalize lingering details of the immigration debate, and Politico reported that issues in this process could come into play last minute. One of the most crucial aspects of this debate, according to Politico, is the cost. The legislation is expected to carry an overall price tag of at least tens of billions of dollars, fueling criticism about the burden it would place on the government in the coming decades as immigrants access Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Nonetheless, Schumer said that a final decision will be released in due time.

“There are always disagreements,” Schumer said, according to CBS News. “But the desire of all eight to meet in the middle and come to an agreement, which is so much more important than each little thing that we might prefer one way or the other, has carried us through this far and I’m very hopeful and optimistic will carry us through the whole way.”

The “Gang of Eight” is adamant about this process not being rushed, and reported to ABC that although a final decision may be reached by the end of the week, this is just the beginning of the process, not the end.