"The status quo isn't working. It's de facto amnesty. We need immigration reform that serves the best interests of our country," Ayotte wrote on her website.
The bill, which was drafted by a bipartisan group of eight senators, expands the number of visas available for high-tech workers; creates a low-skilled guest-worker program; de-emphasizes family ties in the system for legal immigration that has been in place for decades; and creates a 13-year route to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally
"As a nation of immigrants, we must remember that we're all descended from people who came here from somewhere else in search of a better life," she said.
As of now, changes to the bill may need to be made before being voted on in the House. "What they have in the Senate has zero chance of passing in the House," said Republican Senator Rand Paul.
A total of 60 votes is required to end Senate debate and consider adoption. Leaders want a final vote on the legislation by July 4.