WASHINGTON -- Opponents from the political left and right promised to offer amendments to a compromise immigration bill before the U.S. Senate.
The bill was negotiated secretly by the White House and some senators. The Washington Times reported Monday a survey found that while 17 senators supported the bill, another 17 opposed it. Another 22 senators told the Times they had "concerns" about the measure.
Thirty-two senators were reviewing the immigration bill and nine senators' positions could not be determined, the Times reported.
"I did not agree to any immigration deal and was not part of the negotiations," Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., told the Times. "From what I have heard about the bill, it gives amnesty to the estimated 12.5 million illegal immigrants in this country."
Those senators who helped craft the legislation said it was the best deal they could reach.
"It will treat the 12 million undocumented immigrants in a constructive way. It is not amnesty. They'll have to pay a fine. They'll have to earn their way to citizenship," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Opponents on the left want to reduce the bill's temporary "guest worker" program, while those on the right opposed the probationary status given to illegal aliens.
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