White House, Senators Reach Bipartisan Immigration Deal

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, AP, May 17, 2007

A bipartisan group of senators reached agreement Thursday with the White House on an immigration overhaul to grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States and fortify the border against new ones.

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The deal came after weeks of painstaking closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans together with Bush’s Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences.

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The key breakthrough came when negotiators struck a bargain on a point system that would for the first time prioritize immigrants’ education and skill level over family connections in deciding how to award green cards.

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