Under the Senate's plan, undocumented immigrants who pass a background check and pay fines and back taxes would be eligible for a probationary legal status right away that would permit them to live and work in the U.S. After certain border security metrics are met, they would be allowed apply for permanent legal status -- a green card -- which would put them on the path to citizenship.
"That process is likely to be in the range of 10 years," Durbin said. "Now I say a range because we haven't nailed this down."
Menendez added that the group was working on ways to reduce the wait time for foreigners to reunite with their family members in the U.S. Senators emphasized that other elements such as a potential guest-worker program and future flows of immigrants are still being hashed out.
"There is progress being made," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) "We still have a ways to go."