Senators Agree to Revive Immigration Bill
WASHINGTON – Senate leaders reached a deal Thursday on reviving a broad
immigration bill that could provide millions of illegal immigrants a
chance to become American citizens and said they’ll try to pass it
before Memorial Day.
The agreement brokered by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist,
R-Tenn., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., breaks a political
stalemate that has lingered for weeks while immigrants and their
supporters held rallies, boycotts and protests to push for action.
“We congratulate the Senate on reaching agreement and we look
forward to passage of a bill prior to Memorial Day,” said Dana Perino,
deputy White House press secretary.
Key to the agreement is who will be negotiating a compromise with
the House, which last December passed an enforcement-only bill that
would subject the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants
in the United States to felony charges as well as deportation.
Frist said the Senate will send 14 Republicans and 12 Democrats to
negotiate with the House, with seven of the Republicans and five
Democrats coming from the Judiciary Committee. The remaining seven
Republicans will be chosen by Frist and remaining seven Democrats
chosen by Reid.