Immigration bill expected this week, senators say

WASHINGTON Sun Apr 7, 2013 12:13pm EDT

Senator Charles Schumer looks through his prepared remarks before introducing Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Treasury Department, before a Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Senator Charles Schumer looks through his prepared remarks before introducing Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Treasury Department, before a Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington February 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bill to overhaul the immigration system would likely be completed by the end of this week, two senior senators said on Sunday.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York said that senators in the bipartisan "Group of Eight" have resolved all major issues in a pending deal and that their staffs are putting the bill into legislative language.

"All of us have said that they'll be no deal until the eight of us agree to a big, specific bill, but hopefully we can get that done by the end of the week," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation" program.

"There have been kerfuffles along the way, but each one of those thus far has been settled," said Schumer, a member of the group, which has four Democrats and four Republicans.

All eight members must then review the legislative language, he said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest U.S. business group, and the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation, reached an elusive agreement on a guest-worker program late last month, clearing the way for the writing of a full bill.

The legislation will include an earned pathway to U.S. citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, bolstered border security and ways for business to meet the need for both high-skilled and low-skilled workers.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, appearing with Schumer, agreed that a bill would be ready soon and said the legislation would address the needs of both business and labor with a guest-worker program.

"We need to have a path to citizenship, and we need to have secure borders .... And we also have to have a robust guest-worker program so people will not hire someone who is here illegally," McCain said.

A bipartisan group from the Republican-led House of Representatives is working on its own version of immigration reform.

If the Senate and House bills pass their respective chambers, they would have to be reconciled before a final version is voted on and then sent to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

The Gang of Eight in the Democratic-led Senate had initially planned to have a bill by the end of March.

(Writing by Philip Barbara; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Comments (39)
Harry079 wrote:
“and ways for business to meet the need for both high-skilled and low-skilled workers.”

I wonder how Congress and the Chamber of Commerce would feel if we allowed these guest workers to take their jobs due to the fact they don’t seen to have enough skills to do what WE elected them to do.

Apr 07, 2013 12:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChicagoFats wrote:
What kind of secure borders are we talking about here? Something along the lines of East Berlin in the 60s?

Apr 07, 2013 1:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Warof2010 wrote:
Join, we, the people, in holding the line …

NO AMNESTY, NO PROTECTED LEGAL STATUS

we, the people, stand united against amnesty, protected legal status, or whatever else they choose to call it … this isn’t about party, this isn’t about votes, and above all this isn’t about race, nationality, ethnicity, color, or religion … this is about protecting America, our sovereign nation, against an invasion by 10′s of millions of illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants who broke our laws when they crossed our border; or overstayed their visas. Then came document fraud, identity theft, and illegal employment. We are a nation of laws; we, the people, do not reward those who wantonly break our laws. We, the people, want our existing federal laws against illegal immigration enforced … nothing more, nothing less … it’s as simple as that … it really is …

Apr 07, 2013 1:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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