Sanders said he supports many provisions in the comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

The Senate is expected to begin floor debate on a bipartisan bill from the Gang of Eight next week. S. 744 would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

Sanders said one part of the bill, which cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote last month, reforms the J-1 visa program. He said the change would allow younger foreigners to work lower wage jobs that young Americans are struggling to find.

“I fear very much that this J-1 program is being exploited by corporations such as Hershey’s and McDonald's,” Sanders said. “What people are saying is that American young people are too lazy to work these jobs. ... I think that is a slap in the face to our young people.”

Sanders added that when underemployment is considered, the real unemployment numbers are closer to 14 percent than 7 percent. He said young Americans need those low-skill jobs to help them pay for college.

Despite having bipartisan support, some Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty for illegal residents before strengthening border enforcement.

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Sasse: RNC help for Roy Moore 'doesn't make any sense' Sasse calls RNC decision to resume support for Moore 'bad' and 'sad' MORE (R- Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats turn on Al Franken Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign Democratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate ethics panel resumes Menendez probe after judge declares mistrial Judge declares mistrial in Menendez bribery case Menendez jury deadlocked, ordered to keep trying MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Schumer downplays shutdown chances over DACA fight MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.