The bipartisan group of senators pushing to finish a sweeping immigration bill met late Wednesday as thousands of advocates gathered outside the Capitol, many waving American flags, to lend urgency to the effort. The first draft of the bill is 1,000 pages, but the eight senators have yet to sign off on all its provisions. Disputes over agricultural workers and border security that had once appeared resolved remain in flux.
“We are closer now than we have been in 25 years for serious immigration reform,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said after a briefing over sandwiches and chips with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the House. “This president is behind it. And there is a strong, growing bipartisan effort in the Senate to support it. We hope that the House will do the same.”