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Migrant reform effort to renew

first_img“Obviously, if it doesn’t happen, it isn’t going to be for lack of effort,” Nu ez said. Kennedy had hoped to introduce the bill last week but movement stalled amid concerns from McCain and other Republicans about labor provisions Democrats may include. In the meantime, the White House has been holding discussions with Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, both of whom opposed citizenship measures last year. Kennedy called talks between interested parties “useful” but warned the White House against pushing a watered-down measure that, for example, included a program to allow foreign temporary workers but blocked legalization or citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently living in the country. “You can have 90 members of the U.S. Senate who are for a particular program but if a constituency group or the stakeholders aren’t interested, the legislation isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on,” Kennedy said. “No one’s going to sign on for it.” Sen. Ted Kennedy vowed Monday that immigration reform – including citizenship for undocumented workers – will hit the Senate floor by June, despite attempts by the White House and other opponents to massage the bill. With California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez by his side, the Massachusetts Democrat said he and presidential contender Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are negotiating the measure and that he hopes to introduce legislation “in the very near future.” “California bears a disproportionate amount of the burden” to its health care and education systems because of illegal immigration, Kennedy said. The problem, he contented, is “because we have not had an effective national program.” Nu ez met privately with Kennedy about immigration reform as part of a three-day California lobbying blitz with other state legislators. He said Kennedy called the bill “a top priority.” Nu ez also met Monday with Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, on climate change and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, on immigration issues. He is expected to meet with Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and other members of the California delegation later this week. [email protected] (202) 662-8731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more