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Key senators tightly control immigration debate

May 25, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this March 18, 2013, file photo, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, holds a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee about immigrant women and immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington. For all the soothing words she heard from fellow Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hirono never had a chance to win a relatively modest change to far-reaching immigration legislation. Instead, the hidden hand of the bipartisan Gang of Eight reached out and rejected her attempt to create an immigration preference for close relatives of citizens with an extreme hardship _ the same force that had already derailed dozens other proposals deemed to violate the delicate trade-offs made by the bill’s bipartisan authors. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the soothing words she heard from fellow Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii never had a chance to win a relatively modest change to far-reaching immigration legislation.

Instead, the hidden hand of the Gang of Eight reached out and rejected her attempt to create an immigration preference for close relatives of citizens with an extreme hardship — the same force that had already derailed dozens of other proposals deemed to violate the delicate trade-offs made by the bill’s authors.

The gang — the four Republicans and four Democrats who forged the plan— held together “amazingly well under the circumstances,” said one member of the Judiciary Committee who was not part of the group. “It’s a very complex bill,” added Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

The legislation that now goes to the Senate floor creates a 13-year road to citizenship for the estimated 11.5 million immigrants living in the United States unlawfully, establishes a new program to allow low-Login to read more

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