U.S. Senate

By David Nakamura, Published: April 15

Millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States could earn a chance at citizenship under a sweeping Senate proposal to be released Tuesday that would represent the most ambitious overhaul of the nation’s immigration system in three decades.

The highly anticipated proposal from an eight-member bipartisan group also aims to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants into the country by creating tens of thousands of new visas for foreign workers in low-skilled jobs, according to a 17-page summary of the bill obtained by The Washington Post.

In addition, billions of dollars would be invested in new border-control measures, including surveillance drones, security fencing and 3,500 additional federal agents charged with apprehending people attempting to enter illegally from Mexico.

The legislation — marking the first comprehensive effort since a 2007 plan died in the Senate — is intended to largely solve the problem of illegal immigration while clearing a backlog of millions of foreigners trying to enter the country through legal channels.

The senators declined to discuss the details of the bill, but members of the group briefed colleagues in both congressional chambers Monday night, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, aides said. The group had planned to unveil its proposal at a high-profile Tuesday news conference, but that event was canceled in light of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon, legislative aides said late Monday.

At the White House, the Obama administration reacted positively to the news that the group had a deal. President Obama, who won 71 percent of the Latino vote last fall, has made immigration reform his top second-term priority.

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