Congress returns Monday for a pivotal week in which lawmakers will attempt to reach agreements on proposals for gun-control and immigration-reform — perhaps the two biggest issues in Washington this year.

Though the Senate has been working on both issues only since the new Congress began in January, Washington lawmakers have tried for years to draft comprehensive immigration reform, while the issue of gun-control was thrust upon them after 20 first-graders were killed in a December 2012 mass shooting.

A contentious public debate over the country’s flawed immigration system is expected as a bipartisan group of eight senators finalizes a bill to secure U.S. borders, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living here illegally.

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