Senators: We’re Close on Immigration Reform

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 31 2013 2:20 PM

Senators: We’re Close on Immigration Reform Bill, But Not There Yet

163297335
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he is confident the forthcoming Senate immigration legislation will make it through the House "because it secures our borders and controls who gets a job"

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Key senators who are part of the so-called Gang of Eight took to the Sunday talk shows to say that a comprehensive bill on immigration reform bill is close but the final details still need to be ironed out. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida appeared to try to get ahead of the news cycle by releasing a statement early Sunday saying a deal is not yet a reality. "Reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature," he wrote. Despite Rubio’s hesitation, other senators expressed general agreement that legislation would be unveiled by the end of this week, reports CNN.  

"It's got to be written up. We haven't signed off," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said. "There are a few details yet, but conceptual … It will be rolled out next week." Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer agreed, noting on NBC that the agreement between business and labor over guest workers means “every major policy issue has been resolved on the Gang of Eight.” For his part, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said the focus now will be on the bill’s exact wording.

Advertisement

Schumer also dismissed speculation that Rubio’s statements meant there is tension within the Gang of Eight. "As Senator Rubio correctly says, we have said we will not come to final agreement until we look at all the legislative language, and he's correctly pointing out that language hasn't been fully drafted," Schumer said. "There will be little kerfuffles but I don't think any of us expect there to be problems."

Meanwhile, David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Obama, said the president sees immigration reform as a “legacy item” and is committed to pushing a bill through Congress. Some Republicans have said the White House is using the issue to score political points and isn’t really interested in reform, reports the Hill. But Axelrod insisted on Sunday that Obama “wants this accomplishment.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?