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Obama plans push for immigration reform

Early next year, the administration will campaign for a comprehensive bill that could include a path to citizenship for 11 million people living illegally in the U.S.

December 07, 2012|By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau

A bipartisan group of six senators met behind closed doors in the Capitol for 30 minutes on Tuesday night for what is expected to be the first of many meetings on how to get a version of the immigration bill through Congress. On the Republican side, the newly elected junior senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, joined longtime immigration reform advocates Graham and John McCain of Arizona for the talks. The Democrats were Schumer, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois.

But Angela Kelley, an immigration expert with the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, believes that Obama will have to step into the limelight, as he has over budget negotiations, to get something done on immigration.

"The congressional conversation has started," Kelley said. "It isn't something [Obama] can take his time on because the cameras and the microphones will be on him asking, 'What are you doing about it?' and he will have to have a ready answer."

brian.bennett@latimes.com

Kathleen Hennessey in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.

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