Bipartisan immigration deal is likely

first_imgWASHINGTON – Republicans and Democrats struggled Wednesday over the final details of an elusive deal that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. and fortify the border. Among the last sticking points was how much family ties should count toward green cards for future immigrants. Democrats and Republicans also haggled over how to treat new temporary guest workers. For the most part, they would be barred from putting down roots or eventually gaining a path to permanent residency. The emerging bipartisan compromise among senators and the White House would set the stage for a freewheeling Senate debate next week. The divisive issue is exposing deep rifts in both parties and carries political risks. “The best way, and, frankly, the only way to get a comprehensive bill done that will matter and deal with this issue once and for all, is for the bipartisan approach that we’re now working on to come to fruition,” President George W. Bush said. With immigration overhaul a priority, Bush has sent Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to weeks of private meetings with lawmakers. “There is a good chance” of an agreement, Bush said. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, the Democrats’ lead negotiator, said a deal was imminent. Still, representatives on both sides complained that long-settled issues had returned as sticking points. “I’m determined to get the job done and get it done right. We’re close to the finish line and we need to keep moving forward,” Kennedy said through a spokeswoman. Some Republicans contend it is too lenient in how it treats the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. Some Democrats say the plan is too restrictive toward future immigrants and unfair to families. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more