Accord reached on bipartisan immigration measure
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives said on Thursday it has reached a tentative deal to revamp the immigration system despite disputes over a temporary worker program and health care benefits that threatened to derail its efforts.
“We have essentially come to an agreement on all the major points,” Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., told reporters after a two-hour meeting with six other Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
The bipartisan group has been attempting to introduce an immigration bill for years. But disputes over border security, work visa numbers and health care provisions had grown to the point that there were fears some lawmakers might be on the verge of dropping out of the long negotiations.
Yarmuth said there still were some “loose ends” but said that they were not major disagreements.
None of the lawmakers would provide details of the deal to reporters.
The group had been arguing over the “triggers” that would define when additional border security steps under the legislation would be sufficient to start legalizing some of the 11 million unauthorized foreigners, sources said.
There was disagreement over other policy issues central to an immigration bill, including the number of foreign high-tech workers who would be allowed in, as well as low-skilled construction and service industry laborers.
A separate bipartisan bill is being debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee with the goal of bringing a bill before the full Senate next month.
That panel is struggling with the work visa program in the bill and is under intense pressure from technology companies to make it easier to hire foreign workers.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.