Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said some adjustments to the bipartisan measure were inevitable but the "basic agreement" needed to remain intact.
"We have got to basically stick to the standard of what we've established, what we've agreed over the last three months," Durbin said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
The bill begins its perilous journey through Congress this week with a markup session by the Senate Judiciary Committee. CNN said the chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, I-Vt., plans to seek an amendment that would enable homosexuals to sponsor a foreign-born partners' applications for citizenship. Durbin, a co-sponsor of the amendment, said it was necessary even though it would likely raise the hackles of congressional conservatives and endanger the entire bill.
"If we can find a way through this to protect that basic right of an individual and still pass immigration reform, that's what I want to achieve," Durbin said.
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