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On immigration, a bipartisan group of negotiators in the Senate is working to craft legislation embracing Obama’s call for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants but making such a path contingent on first securing the border, a linkage Obama has not supported.
But there’s no guarantee the Senate bipartisan plan will find favor with the full Senate or the House. The first test may come Wednesday morning when the Senate Judiciary Committee opens its hearings on a comprehensive immigration overhaul. Deep fault lines emerged even before the hearing began, with a leading committee Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, calling Obama’s remarks on immigration "deeply troubling."
"The biggest obstacle we face to reform is this nation’s failure to establish lawfulness in the system," Sessions said. "The president’s immigration plan meets the desire of businesses for low-wage foreign workers while doing nothing to protect struggling American workers."
The president implored lawmakers to break through partisan logjams, asserting that "the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next."
"Americans don’t expect government to solve every problem," he said. "They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can."
Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.
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