Republicans, Democrats strike immigration deal with White House

first_imgWASHINGTON D.C. – Key senators and the White House reached agreement today on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border. The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the U.S. A separate program would cover agricultural workers. New high-tech enforcement measures also would be instituted to verify that workers are here legally. The compromise came after weeks of painstaking closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans together with President Bush’s Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said he expects Bush to endorse the agreement. 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The accord sets the stage for what promises to be a bruising battle next week in the Senate on one of Bush’s top non-war priorities. The key breakthrough came when negotiators struck a bargain on a so-called “point system” that would for the first time prioritize immigrants’ education and skill level over family connections in deciding how to award green cards. The draft bill “gives a path out of the shadows and toward legal status for those who are currently here” illegally, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. A spokesman for Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., one of his party’s key players in the talks, confirmed that the group had reached agreement. last_img read more