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Immigration meeting set for Tuesday, McCain says

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 9:42 p.m.
 

MEXICO CITY — Sen. John McCain said on Friday that he and lawmakers working on an immigration overhaul will meet with President Obama on Tuesday to discuss the effort to revamp the system.

McCain, R-Ariz., a member of a bipartisan group of eight senators working on a bill, said there is significant disagreement with the president, but he is optimistic about producing legislation that includes a path to legalization for illegal immigrants.

The White House could not confirm the Tuesday meeting.

“The president of the United States has supported our efforts. In fact, we will be meeting with the president on Tuesday,” McCain said during a visit to Mexico.

The senator told reporters after meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that many details must be worked out between Obama and senators trying to produce legislation.

Asked about the prospects for reaching a deal, he said: “I am guardedly optimistic that we could by the end of the next month. There's still a number of agreements that need to be made before I can assure you that we will have a resolution.”

While they differ on some key details, both Obama and the Senate are contemplating legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, tighten border security, crack down on businesses that employ illegal workers and strengthen the legal immigration system.

McCain ticked off those aspects and added that he envisions the legislation including a process for foreign agricultural and low-skilled laborers to work in the United States, a provision for highly educated workers to remain in this country, better identification cards for migrants and a special path for migrants brought to this country as children.

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