- Associated Press - Friday, February 22, 2013

U.S. Sen. John McCain said Friday that he and other lawmakers working on an immigration overhaul will meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday to discuss the issue. McCain, a member of a bipartisan group of eight senators working on a bill, said there is still significant disagreement with the president, but he is optimistic about producing legislation that includes a path to legalization for illegal immigrants.

“The president of the United States has supported our efforts. In fact we will be meeting with the president on Tuesday,” he said during a visit to Mexico.


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McCain did not say how many senators would attend the meeting.

McCain told reporters after meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that many details must be worked out between Obama and senators trying to produce legislation.

Asked about the prospects for reaching a deal, he said: “I am guardedly optimistic that we could by the end of the next month. There’s still a number of agreements that need to be made before I can assure you that we will have a resolution.”

McCain said he envisions immigration legislation including a way for illegal migrants to obtain legal status; a process for agricultural and low-skilled laborers to go to work in the United States; a provision for highly educated workers to remain in the U.S.; better identification cards for migrants; punishment for businesses that hire illegal migrants; greater use of advanced technology to prevent illicit border crossings and a special path for migrants brought to the U.S. as children.

“On some of those we have specific agreement, in other areas we agree in principle, but we have not resolved the details,” he said. “We are making progress, but we are still not at a point where we can say we will succeed.”