Leaders from both parties in the U.S. Senate have announced what they call a "breakthrough" in the effort to pass an immigration reform bill.
Under the deal, illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years would have a chance to become citizens.
The proposed bill also would give illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least two years the chance to get a temporary work visa.
Senators cautioned that the deal could fall through if lawmakers add amendments to it. President Bush backs the compromise and urged the Senate to pass it before a congressional recess begins on Friday.
Any Senate-passed legislation will have to be reconciled with a House-passed measure, which takes a much tougher stand against illegal immigration.
The House of Representatives has already passed a measure that would make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant, and impose heavy penalties on companies that hire them.
That bill sparked protests in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities by immigrants and their supporters.