- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Sen. John McCain, other lawmakers to tour Mexican border
Question of the Day
PHOENIX (AP) — A group of U.S. senators who will be influential in shaping and negotiating details of an immigration reform package is traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to get a firsthand look at issues affecting the region.
Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona were expected to tour the border Wednesday with Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Michael F. Bennet of Colorado. They are all members of the so-called Gang of Eight — a bipartisan group that has spent recent weeks trying to craft proposed immigration legislation.
The trip comes as Congress is in recess and as the lawmakers wrap up a bill designed to secure the border and put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship. President Obama has urged Congress to pass immigration reform this year, and border security is critical to Mr. McCain and other Republicans who contend that some areas along the border are far from secure.
“I wish every member of the United States Senate and Congress could see the border,” Mr. McCain told reporters in Phoenix on Monday. “Only when you can see the expanse, the difficulties and the challenges of the border, can you really appreciate the need for our border security.”
With top Republicans and Democrats focused on the issue, immigration reform faces its best odds in years. The proposed legislation likely will put illegal immigrants on a 13-year path to citizenship and would install new criteria for border security, allow more high- and low-skilled workers to come to the U.S., and hold businesses to tougher standards on verifying their workers are in the country legally.
Mr. McCain sought to lower expectations for the bill Monday during a town hall in Phoenix. He told immigration activists they wouldn’t be completely happy with the measure and warned that the group must overcome difficult disagreements.
“We’ve made progress in a number of areas that I am encouraged by, but there are still areas that we are not in agreement,” he said.
Mr. McCain said the lawmakers had reached an agreement on protections for young illegal immigrants brought to the country as children and on visas for workers, but declined to provide specifics.
Reports indicate that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, negotiating through the Gang of Eight senators, had reached significant agreement Friday on a new visa program to bring up to 200,000 lower-skilled workers a year to the country. The groups did not reach consensus on how much the workers would be paid.
The bill is expected to be lengthy and cover numerous issues, including limiting family-based immigration to put a greater emphasis on skills and employment ties instead.
The legislation was initially promised in March, but the lawmakers have since said they won’t be done until at least April. Immigration proponents have said the group needs to introduce legislation soon, while some Republican lawmakers complain the process has moved too quickly.
If passed, the legislation could usher in the most sweeping changes in immigration law in nearly 30 years.
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq