Many questions remained unresolved, such as how the border will be deemed secure and the future flow of immigrants to the U.S. The "Gang of Eight" plan lists broad principles on those fronts, but senators said Monday that many of the details remain under negotiation. For example, Schumer said that business and labor groups have discussed how many immigrant workers should be allowed to enter the U.S. and those talks continue.
It also remains to be seen how the bill is received in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that oversees immigration reform, dismissed the Senate plan as an "amnesty proposal. But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) remained open to the plan, according to Talking Points Memo.
McCain said that members of the group would speak with key members of the lower chamber. He expressed confidence that a majority of both houses would back the proposal, but also acknowledged "we're not going to get everyone on board."
The senator's announcement came one day before President Obama is expected to announce his own immigration reform plan during a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada. While there has been some scuttlebutt in Washington that the Senate group was trying to preempt the president, Schumer dismissed the notion, saying that the president was" delighted" with their proposal when it was presented to him on Sunday.
"We came to an agreement this weekend," Schumer said. "We want to move quickly."
After Rubio and Menendez spoke in Spanish about the plan, McCain cracked a joke that underlined Schumer's point.
"En español, 'Vamanos!'"