Posted: 10:45 p.m. MST
Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) visited the U.S.-Mexico border and met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials from the Yuma sector.
This visit comes during a two-week break from negotiations in Congress.
Flake is one of the so-called "Gang of 8" bi-partisan senators drafting federal immigration reform bills.
"For those who are here illegally now, we have a process by which they would obtain legal status and have the opportunity to seek citizenship at some point in the future," Flake said during a press conference. He did not give specifics about any paths toward citizenship.
This federal immigration overhaul could affect the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S., according to Flake.
"Also within that, there's people like the DREAM Act kids. This would involve an expedited path to citizenship for those kids, and also for those who work in the farm sector--there would be a different path for them as well to make sure that we have people who will stay in that industry," Flake said.
Although the senators' negotiations are currently stalled over the issue of guest worker programs, Flake said they are making progress compared to years past.
Wednesday, Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Flake will take Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to visit the border at the Tucson sector.
Flake said he and the others will evaluate current border operations to ensure the productive flow of commerce while maintaining security at the border.
"A lot of people tend to see the border as some kind of Berlin Wall--that you just put up a wall, and you don't have anybody cross back and forth; and we all know it as something completely different. There's a lot of commerce that benefits the state and the country," Flake said.
He expects the "Gang of 8" will have a draft for immigration reform ready before the end of April. .