Skip to comments.Deal struck on immigration bill (in the Senate, now over to the House for action)
Posted on 05/17/2007 10:16:31 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators reached agreement with the White House Thursday on an immigration overhaul to grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border against new ones.
One of the key negotiators, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said he expects President Bush to endorse it.
The deal came after weeks of painstaking closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans together with Bush's Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences.
It set the stage for what promises to be a bruising battle next week in the Senate on one of Bush's top non-war priorities.
This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) Republican and Democratic senators huddled Thursday trying to close in on an immigration compromise to grant quick legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants while fortifying U.S. borders against new ones.
A group of lawmakers that has been haggling over the terms of agreement for weeks were reviewing language negotiated Wednesday night in efforts to nail down a deal. Among the final sticking points was a stubborn dispute over how much family ties count toward green cards under a new "point system." The plan prioritizes advanced skills and education levels for future immigrants.
Two of the lead negotiators, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), R-S.C., booked time for Thursday afternoon in the Senate's radio-TV gallery for an announcement.
But Kennedy said some were hanging back as an agreement inched closer.
"There are just some people who don't want to close on this. There comes a time in every negotiation where people have to close," Kennedy said. "Today is it."
Kennedy said Thursday was likely the last chance for a compromise before senators scattered for a three-day weekend.
"The immigration reform legislation has come to a boiling point," Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., said just before going into Thursday's meeting. "We've tried to come to a consensus and I think we are very, very close, but every time we grasp it, it eludes a final resolution."
If no deal emerged, Senate Democrats were to vote Monday evening to bring up an immigration measure that passed last year over the objections of most Republicans, who have said they will block it. That would be a highly partisan start to the immigration debate, which divides the two parties and exposes fissures within their ranks.
Even with a bipartisan agreement, the immigration debate could easily devolve into a free-for-all in the unruly Senate.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., has said he wants to complete a bill before Memorial Day, and President Bush says he wants to sign one by summer's end.
Make my day.
I was about to post this. This is a travesty. Rush said today that we will almost definately lose in 2008 over this. Sadly, I agree.
Americans have been SOLD OUT !
There’s a new Numbers USA fax to send.
Amnesty. Pure and simple.
The beginning of the end of the two party system.
Welcome Big Brother, and my I say gretings to our new alien oversears.
Canadian online pharmacies are expecting a big run on Preparation H as the American taxpayer takes it again.
Rush: “This bill is worse than doing nothing it all. It’s already bad enough...”
I know I will never vote for anyone who supports this.
Bipartisan is politician for backroom, closed door agreement.
This will become the NUMBER ONE issue in 2008. Which candidate will jump on it? By opposing amnesty and open borders we can attract union members, blue collar workers, and minorities over to our side if the issue is properly framed.
[Bring your own lube]
If this passes, this will be the end of the Republican Party.
2008 won’t matter, it will be too late, the damage done.
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