Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin, Collins leading talks on overhauling election law, protecting election officials Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Schumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates MORE (D-Ill.) said it's "unlikely" that the Senate would move on immigration reform this year.

Durbin said that a tough political environment, especially for Republicans, made it all but politically impossible to move forward with an immigration bill.

"It's unlikely we'll get to it this year," Durbin told the liberal Bill Press radio show, pointing to the political environment.

A group of Democratic senators released their outline for comprehensive immigration legislation several weeks ago. That proposal, by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (D-Nev.) and Sens. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure Voting rights and Senate wrongs MORE (D-N.Y.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Differences remain between NATO, Russia Senate Democrats unveil bill sanctioning Russia over Ukraine MORE (D-N.J.), would emphasize border security before providing a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants.

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"Can we do it? Unlikely," Durbin said of the chances of that bill advancing. "You saw what happened in Utah to Bob Bennett."

Reid himself has acknowledged that the current Senate make-up, where Democrats need at least one Republican vote to advance legislation, made immigration reform tougher. But the majority leader had for a time planned to move immigration next, after Democrats wrap up their Wall Street reform bill.

Reid backed off pushing forward on immigration when Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduce bill aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians Kyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (R-S.C.) threatened to withdraw from talks on both that issue and energy and climate legislation.

Durbin still said there was a "remote chance" that Democrats would move an immigration bill, but did not sound an optimistic note.

The decision on moving immigration has political trade-offs for Democrats. On one hand, they may manage to avoid a potentially divisive fight over an immigration bill that might put centrists in their party on the spot. On the other, advocates of immigration reform in the party like Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezIllinois Democrats propose new 'maximized' congressional map Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic primary fight shifts to South Carolina, Nevada MORE (D-Ill.) have warned that Latino voters might stay home out of frustration with Democrats, if they fail to put together a bill.