In a new television ad, former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney has blasted the latest version of the bill as "a form of amnesty," citing the new visa classification that would give undocumented immigrants legal status.
"Amnesty is not the way to do it," Romney says in the ad.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, responded this week, arguing Romney's position amounts to a flip-flop from his previous position on immigration.
"In the case of Gov. Romney, maybe I should wait a couple weeks and see if [his position] changes," said McCain on a conference call Monday to journalists. "Because it's changed in less than a year from his position before."
McCain, an author of the compromise, added with no small dose of sarcasm, "Maybe his solution will be to get out his small-varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn," referring to a Boston Globe report that found Romney hired a landscaping service that employs illegal immigrants.
The current immigration bill is a compromise package hammered out late Monday night, which involved lengthy negotiations with the White House and congressional leaders.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said vehement disagreement over the bill's provisions may ultimately produce better immigration legislation.
"No one is happy. No one is taking advantage of anyone else," concluded Reid.