Washington: A bipartisan group of US senators working on a proposal to overhaul the nation`s immigration laws has reached a conceptual agreement.
The new draft immigration bill will be rolled out in the next few weeks, Senator Lindsey Graham said, noting that eight Senators involved in the process have agreed to the broader contours of it, even though it is yet to be given a written shape.
"I think we`ve got a deal. We`ve got to write the legislation," Graham told a news channel in an interview.
He is part of the eight Senators from both the Republican and Democratic party working on a comprehensive immigration reform, which has the backing of the White House.
He hoped that 2013 will be the year that the Congress passes bipartisan immigration reform signed into law with three goals: to prevent a third wave of illegal immigration; to make sure that the guest worker program is available to employers who can`t find an American worker, and turn family-based immigration system into a merit-based immigration system with a family component.
"So stopping that third wave means securing your border and controlling who gets a job in America. I think we`ve accomplished that in this bill. And I believe it will pass," Graham said.
However, the Senator said the bill is yet be written. Graham asserted that the bill will pass the House because it secures the borders, it controls who gets a job.
"As to the 11 million, they`ll have a pathway to citizenship, but it will be earned, it will be long and it will be hard, and I think it is fair," he said.
Eight senators from seven states have worked on this bill to serve as a starting point for discussion about fixing the broken immigration system.
"But arriving at a final product will require it to be properly submitted for the American people`s consideration, through the other 92 senators from 43 states that weren`t part of this initial drafting process. In order to succeed, this process cannot be rushed or done in secret," Rubio said.
In an interview to NBC`s "Meet the Press", Senator Chuck Schumer said he expects the bill to be rolled out in May.
He is one of the leading members of the bipartisan group of Senators - called the Gang of Eight - working on the immigration reform.
"With the agreement between business and labor, every major policy issue has been resolved on the Gang of Eight," he said.
"We`re not going to come to a final agreement until we see draft legislative language and we agree on that. We drafted some of it already, the rest will be drafted this week. I am very, very optimistic that we will have an agreement among the eight of us next week," Schumer said.
"We haven`t dotted every `i` and crossed every `t,`" Senator Jeff Flake, told NBC news channel appearing on the same Sunday talk show.
David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, said Obama views the issue of immigration reform as a legacy item.