"Each time a new special interest comes through the door, they just stick on a new ornament for the special interest," she said.
Proponents of the bill, however, say the measures already in the bill reflect the need to fix many parts of a broken immigration system Congress last overhauled in 1986.
"This bill is the best chance for a lot of people to have a lot of their specific issues addressed," said Bob Sakaniwa,of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a group advocating for the overhaul. "There's been this pent-up demand."
Even before the immigration debate began on the Senate floor last week, the overhaul included provisions long the focus of intense lobbying by an array of interests groups. For instance, the technology industry lobbied successfully to secure more visas for foreign engineers, programmers and other high-skilled workers, while the bill sets aside 10,500 visas each year for Irish immigrants.
More changes are expected during the weeks of debate ahead.
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Among the measures inserted in the bill:
•A provision granting foreign retirees 55 and older a three-year, renewable visas if they invest $500,000 in U.S. real estate. They must live in this country at least six months each year and have health insurance.
A separate measure would allow older Canadians to remain in the United States for up to eight months each year — up from six months under current law.To qualify, Canadians must own a home here or have a long-term rental agreement. They also must have health insurance and cannot work in this country.
(Read More: GOP Honchos Want Immigration Reform, but Sit Out Fight)
The 70,000-member Canadian Snowbird Association lobbied Congress for years to extend the time limit, including a letter-writing campaign two years ago that targeted every lawmaker on Capitol Hill, said Evan Rachkovsky, the group's research officer.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat and one of the so-called Gang of Eight senators who crafted the bill, backed the measure.
Both foreign visa measures were supported by a powerful U.S. interest: The National Association of Realtors, which spent $41.5 million to lobby Congress last year.
Advocates say relaxing the requirements advance U.S. economic interests. Foreigners bought $82.5 billion in real estate between March 2011 and March 2012, or nearly 5% of all sales, according to a study by the Realtors' group. Canadians accounted for nearly one-quarter of purchases by international buyers.
"The real estate industry has been through a really difficult patch," said Marcia Salkin, managing director for legislative policy with the National Association of Realtors. "This makes it easier for foreign investors to purchase property in the U.S. and have enough time here to use that property."
•A measure that would make it easier for resorts to hire foreign ski and snowboard instructors by allowing them to work in the USA under the same program used by professional athletes and entertainers.
Currently, foreign ski instructors are hired under a 10-month visa program established for seasonal employees. Visas used by foreign athletes can be renewed for up to a decade under current law. Industry officials say they've had a hard time finding certified ski instructors with the language skills to serve growing numbers of foreign visitors.
The 2012-13 ski season drew about 3.5 million foreigners to U.S. slopes, up from 3.15 million foreign skiers the previous year, said Dave Byrd, of the Colorado-based National Ski Areas Association, which lobbied for the change. The spending by foreign tourists, the groups says, sends big ripples through the economy — especially in the rural areas surrounding many ski resorts.
(Read More: Sen. Graham: NoBudget Deal If We Fail to Pass Immigration)
"If we don't have the language skills and the high certification to serve these international tourists, that's money we are leaving on the table," Byrd said.
The measure was advanced by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democratic member of the Gang of Eight, whose state accounts for about 20% of the nation's ski visits.