January 28, 2013

Immigration reform gains momentum

Senators from both parties will offer principles for a path to citizenship in a bipartisan effort sparked by election results.


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"First of all, Americans support it, in poll after poll. Secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it," Menendez said on "This Week," explaining the rationale for quick action.

The framework is the result of intense behind-the-scenes talks between the senators, who have met five times since the November election, rotating between offices of McCain and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Other Democrats involved are Menendez, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. On Sunday, Schumer informed top White House officials of the group's progress and alerted them to the impending Monday announcement.

Many details remain to be negotiated before legislation can be introduced. They include the especially difficult question of how the government would verify that enforcement has been sufficiently enhanced to allow an expanded pool of legal residents to seek citizenship.

"Our goal, once we get our principles, is to sit down and negotiate a bill. That is often difficult. (What) is the path to citizenship? How does it work?" Schumer told reporters in New York on Sunday. "We'll have to work all that out."

But, he added: "I'm impressed with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle over their desire to meet in the middle."


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