An intense round of closed-door talks among Cabinet officials and Senate Republicans and Democrats has reached a critical bargaining stage, congressional officials and lobbyists said. Senior lawmakers from opposite sides of the spectrum — led by liberal Sen. Edward Kennedy... and conservative Sen. Jon Kyl... — hope to draft a bipartisan measure as early as this week that could come to a Senate vote in May.In a move that shocks no one except (perhaps) Hirschfeld Davis, the White House says they'll lower the exorbitant fees from their plan. And:
...Democrats have backed off their opposition to requiring immigrants to return to their home countries before applying for citizenship, and are discussing so-called triggers that would have to be met before a new plan could take effect. Both are provisions they rejected last year...Note that under the Flake-Gutierrez scheme, former illegal aliens could start living here legally almost immediately; they'd only need to return home briefly (as little as one day) and they wouldn't have to do that right away. And, the triggers only involve spending and planning, not actual benchmarks.
...The White House declined to comment on details of the negotiations, saying Bush is working to strike a balance between the extremes of the immigration debate.
"Comprehensive reform should account for the immigrants that are already here, and do so in a way that is without amnesty and without animosity," said Scott Stanzel, a White House spokesman.
Immigration2007a · Mon, 04/23/2007 - 17:52 · Importance: 1