- As cross-party negotiations entered their crucial final stages ahead of the unveiling of an immigration bill in the U.S. Senate as early as the first week of June, the White House was pressing senior congressional leaders to forge ahead with a robust bill that would provide a clear pathway to citizenship. President McCain's spokesman said that "we are encouraged by the continuing signs of progress", though he refused to be drawn on the details of the package that are still being thrashed out.
- The most politically charged aspect of the draft bill was likely to be the precise terms of a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million, as McCain's plan included a chance for undocumented immigrants of becoming full U.S. citizens.
- But this was seen as a red rag to many Republicans, who interpret it as a form of amnesty that rewards illegal behavior. Advocates of the reform, including the four Republican and four Democratic senators who make up the bipartisan – dubbed the "gang of eight" – who are framing the legislation, are all too aware that conservative anxieties have to be assuaged if the bill is to have any chance of achieving congressional approval.
- President McCain, however, had over the past weeks urged that the first step to any comprehensive immigration reform would be his planned Border Security Plan, which included a deployment of 12,000 National Guard Troops along the U.S.-Mexican border, 15,000 Custom and Border Protection Agents to the U.S.-Mexican border by 2015 and complete the 1951 mile (3141 km) fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.
- While this had reassured some Republicans, others continued their skepticism or outright opposition to the plan.
- White House Press Secretary Brooke Buchanan said that White House staffers were actively engaged with the group of eight senators over drafting the legislation.
- Details of the proposals that have been floated in the media include a possible minimum wait time for citizenship for any currently undocumented immigrant that could extend to as long as 13 years. Though individuals would be allowed to "come out of the shadows" relatively quickly and easily, by registering for a work permit, the prolonged delay in processing their claims for full citizenship, combined with possibly steep fines for the illegality of their previous status, could dissuade many from even embarking down the citizenship road.
| Preceded by:|
Timeline – 2008
|Timeline of U.S. and international events|
January 1 – December 31, 2009
| Succeeded by:|
Timeline – 2010