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May 22, 2013

Immigration bill gets Senate boost; House effort teetering

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Supporters of U.S. immigration reform are hoping that the smooth and drama-free passage of their legislation through a Senate committee – a departure from almost everything that has happened in Congress over the past four years – will boost the likelihood of the bill winning full Senate approval.

Even Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee who voted against the immigration bill on Tuesday, told Reuters TV that the “very fair” debate by the panel “does improve its chances.”

May 21, 2013

U.S. Senate panel nears completion of immigration bill

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – Senate negotiators on Tuesday
reached a tentative deal to ease restrictions on U.S. technology
firms hiring highly skilled workers from abroad, potentially a
big win for industry as efforts to pass comprehensive
immigration reform this year accelerated.

Under the deal struck by Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch
and New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, the Senate
would back a looser formula for issuing H-1B visas that
technology companies say they need to hire qualified employees.

May 21, 2013

Senators reach deal to ease high-tech rules in U.S. immigration bill

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – Senate negotiators have
reached a tentative deal with tech companies to ease
restrictions on hiring foreigners for high-skilled jobs as part
of a sweeping immigration bill, congressional and industry
sources said on Tuesday.

Judiciary Committee members have been in negotiations with
the companies and the AFL-CIO union over whether to lift
constraints on H-1B visas allowing American companies to hire
highly skilled foreign workers.

May 20, 2013

U.S. panel votes to speed up airport fingerprinting of immigrants

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) – High-tech systems for
tracking the movements of immigrants and other foreigners when
leaving the United States would be installed at major U.S.
airports under a plan approved by a congressional panel on

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 for an amendment
to a wide-ranging immigration bill that would require the
installation of devices to check immigrants’ fingerprints at the
10 busiest U.S. airports within two years of enactment of the

May 17, 2013

House bill to have more stringent immigrant controls: aides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan plan brokered in the House of Representatives will be tougher on illegal immigrants living in the United States than a Senate counterpart, congressional aides said on Friday.

But it fails to address the difficult issue of how many low-skilled foreign workers should be allowed into the country.

May 16, 2013

U.S. House lawmakers reach tentative deal to revamp immigration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Thursday they had reached a tentative deal to revamp the immigration system, after disputes over a temporary worker program and healthcare benefits threatened to derail their efforts.

“We have essentially come to an agreement on all the major points,” Democratic Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky told reporters after a two-hour meeting with six other Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

May 16, 2013

U.S. House lawmakers in last-ditch bid to save immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives trying to write an immigration bill met on Thursday in a last-ditch attempt to resolve their differences over a temporary worker program and healthcare benefits for illegal immigrants.

The group of eight Democratic and Republican lawmakers has been attempting to craft a bill to overhaul the immigration system and deal with the millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States.

May 16, 2013

Boehner urges U.S. House action on immigration amid deep splits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday tried to encourage negotiations on immigration legislation amid signs that a bipartisan House group trying to write a bill was near collapse.

“I am concerned that the bipartisan group has been unable to wrap up their work,” Boehner told reporters, adding, “I know there are some very difficult issues that have come up.”

May 14, 2013

Watchdog blasts U.S. IRS over ‘Tea Party’ targeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A government watchdog sharply criticized the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday for singling out conservative groups for extra scrutiny and warned that the agency’s actions gave the appearance that it was not politically impartial.

Citing poor management and substantial delays in processing of applications from groups for tax-exempt status, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” for screening applications.

May 10, 2013

Immigration bill backers thwart conservative amendments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A landmark bill backed by U.S. President Barack Obama to overhaul the nation’s immigration system survived unscathed on Thursday during the first day of consideration by a divided Senate Judiciary Committee.

On bipartisan votes, the panel rejected conservatives’ attempts to thwart implementation of a centerpiece of the bill – a pathway to U.S. citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.

    • About Richard

      "I have been a Washington correspondent for Reuters since 2001. I have written about climate change and the environment, the U.S. Congress, politics, economic issues and agricultural trade disputes."
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