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November 30, 2006

Bush seeks unity on immigration; Reaches out to Democrats to craft new bill

By Rick Klein, Globe Staff, November 27, 2006

“WASHINGTON -- The White House is reaching out to leading congressional Democrats on the issue of overhauling immigration, hoping to build a bipartisan coalition to support a "guest worker" program and provide a path to legalized status for many undocumented immigrants, lawmakers and administration officials said.

President Bush has expressed an eagerness to work with Democrats on the issue in private meetings with lawmakers and in public statements, as he seeks to strike a new tone with Democrats who will be in control of Congress for the final two years of his presidency.
The president's interest in the issue is getting a warm reception from members of both parties in Congress, particularly in the Senate, where a bill reflecting the president's priorities passed this year only to die in negotiations with the House.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat who is set to take the chairmanship of the subcommittee that oversees immigration issues, has already met with leading Republicans -- including Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican -- to begin crafting a new bill early next year. "The dynamics are right," said Kennedy, who worked closely with McCain and others on the immigration bill that passed the Senate earlier this year. "With a new Congress, we have an opportunity to pass our plan to secure our borders, uphold our laws, and strengthen our economy."

Kennedy and the other lawmakers are planning a broader meeting this week of about 12 leading senators from both parties. They are hoping to have Congress vote on a final immigration bill by mid-2007, according to congressional aides.

Though no specific proposals have been floated, the bill passed this year by the Senate is a likely starting point, aides said…”.


Posted by VisaLawyer at November 30, 2006 07:27 AM


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