Donohue and Trumka issued a joint statement that said, in part, "The fact that business and labor can come together to negotiate in good faith over contentious issues should be a signal to Congress and the American people that support for immigration reform is widespread and growing, and is important to our economy and our society."
The principles announced Thursday make clear that both sides have given ground. Business will get a temporary worker program, something labor long opposed, and labor will see creation of a government entity that describes labor market needs, instead of leaving that task to employers themselves.
Various thorny issues remain, including how many new visas would be provided under the new program and what kind of pay and protections workers would get.
The Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO have taken the lead in negotiations that have also included other business associations and labor unions. Senators and their aides are expected to play a larger role in the talks.
The U.S. already has several temporary worker programs, but they don't work well and experts say a large proportion of migrant workers in agricultural and other low-skill fields like landscaping or housekeeping are in the U.S. illegally.
Associated Press writers Nedra Pickler and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.