The U.S. Senate "Gang of Eight" that hashed out a bipartisan compromise on immigration reform had its plans to unveil the legislation delayed, understandably, by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
But the punditry can only be held at bay so long, and with a rough outline released Tuesday and the full bill rolled out Wednesday, it didn't take long for critics and supporters alike to weigh in on the proposal that tackles everything from the 11 million immigrants in the country without legal residency to visas for high-skilled workers and border security.
Below is a collection of what people from all sides, both locally and nationally, are saying about the proposal followed by an overview of some of the key provisions. Finally, for a lighter take on the serious issue, check out the clips from "The Daily Show" treatment of the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"This bill is a compromise. It is not the bill Democrats or Republicans would have drafted on their own. That is the nature of compromise. But it is a very strong bill that will continue to secure the borders, improve our dysfunctional legal immigration system and require 11 million people who are undocumented to register with the government, pay fines and taxes, learn English and get in the back of the line to obtain legal status."
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.
"As Congress prepares to tackle the difficult challenge of modernizing the current system, every member of Congress must be honest about the need for enforcement measures in any legislation considered on the Senate floor. With Democrats and Republicans coming together and engaging in an open, transparent debate on this issue and allowing for amendments to the existing legislation, I am optimistic we can find solutions and address these issues once and for all. I look forward to reviewing this legislation and continuing this discussion in the coming days and weeks."
Peter Ashman, Las Vegas immigration attorney and spokesman for the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
"I don't think the bill is going to satisfy anyone entirely. You have to negotiate and meet somewhere in the middle. Everyone is a little happy and a little unhappy. Some from the immigrant rights groups will be upset about the family category (being reduced), and I think they'll see this as too pro-business. Business will say it doesn't go far enough."
"I just came from Washington, D.C., where I met with every office in the Nevada delegation. I've never in the 22 years I've been doing this seen this much unity and desire to accomplish something of a positive nature."
Astrid Silva, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and Deferred Action recipient
"I think this is a really good place to start from, and I'm glad they are finally working on it together. I'm happy it's finally here. It appears Dreamers have a little bit of a fast track to citizenship. It has some of the strongest language we've seen in terms of the Dream Act, and that's also great to see."
Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform
"To be sure, this legislation is not perfect. Our economy needs a more robust guest worker program to ensure a vibrant labor supply and discourage future illegal immigration. But it is a solid proposal worthy of conservative support. People are an asset, not a liability. It is time our immigration system reflects
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