UPDATE: Statement from Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio:
With this afternoon’s announcement from eight U.S. Senators, including Colorado’s own Michael Bennet, of a bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform, a solution to this problem is a real possibility. That a Colorado voice, especially that of Senator Bennet, is helping to drive this discussion is no accident.
“Our state is on the leading edge of this issue and understands the need to fix a broken immigration system,” said Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio. “As we welcome the new members to our community, we realize that sensible federal policies are needed to solve many of the complicated challenges that immigrants, their families, businesses, schools, and ultimately everyone must deal with. Between his leadership in developing the Colorado Compact and his work on today’s framework, Senator Bennet has addressed the complicated and emotional questions surrounding immigration and offered clear solutions. And as challenging as that is, it is what Coloradans expect and what the country has been calling for. Most of all, it is welcome progress.”
Politico reports today:
A powerful group of senators from both parties has reached a deal on the outlines of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, a development that will drive an emotional debate on a hot-button issue unseen in Washington for more than half a decade.
According to a five-page document provided to POLITICO, the sweeping proposal — agreed to in principle by eight senators — would seek to overhaul the legal immigration system as well as create a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. But establishing that pathway would depend on whether the U.S. first implements stricter border enforcement measures and new rules ensuring immigrants have left the country in compliance with their visas. Young people brought to the country as children illegally and seasonal agriculture industry workers would be given a faster path to citizenship.
The broad agreement by the influential Gang of Eight senators amounts to the most serious bipartisan effort to act on the highly charged issue since George W. Bush’s comprehensive measure was defeated in the Senate in 2007…
FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports on Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet's role in putting together this compromise:
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is among a bipartisan group of eight senators that have reached an agreement on a comprehensive immigration overhaul, Bennet’s office confirmed to FOX31 Denver Sunday night…
He is now part of an informal group that includes some of the most influential members of the Democratic Senate caucus: Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois; Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 in the leadership; and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey who is set to be the next chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
The four Republicans involved in drawing up the immigration compromise are also heavy hitters: Sen. John McCain of Arizona; Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising GOP star and possible future presidential candidate.
Check out the brief document outlining the plan here. Immigration reform has long stood at the top of Sen. Bennet's list of priorities. Broadly speaking, the plan does create a pathway to citizenship for presently illegal immigrants, along with tougher immigration enforcement on the border and reforms of employment and visa enforcement. The plan promises to "reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families."
And obviously, if passed into law it could make dragon-slayers out of eight U.S. Senators.