Not so fast: Rubio, Schumer show that immigration is anything but a done deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of the lawmakers negotiating an immigration overhaul in Congress say a final deal is at hand but caution that the bipartisan group working on a proposal hasn’t finished its work.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said on Sunday that organized labor and the business leaders have reached an agreement on immigration. But they both told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the so-called Gang of Eight senators hasn’t yet signed-off on final legislative language.

“With the agreement between business and labor every major policy issue has been resolved,” Schumer said. “We’ve all agreed we’re not going to come to a final agreement until we see draft legislative language and we agree on that. I am very optimistic we’ll have an agreement among the eight of us next week.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, is also part of the bipartisan group working on an immigration deal. After reports emerged on Saturday that the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce agreed on a deal, Rubio issued a statement calling a compromise “premature.”

Rubio sent a letter to Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, stressing that a complete set of hearings should be taken up on immigration reform, which made it clear he does not want legislation fast-tracked through Congress.

“I am aware that the Judiciary Committee, both under your leadership and under the leadership of your predecessors, has conducted a number of hearings related to immigration reform, he said in the letter. “I am certain that those hearings deepened your knowledge of these issues and will guide much of your work this Congress.  But they cannot be a substitute for fresh hearings to consider specific legislation as part of a national conversation. ”

On Meet the Press, Schumer said he expects the Senate to examine the bill in April and for it to hit the House floor in May.

President Obama has stated that he has his own legislation ready in case Congress flounders on the issue, but he is heartened that a bipartisan commitment will see immigration reform become law by the summer.

RELATED: Stumbling block averted: Business, labor settle immigration reform dispute

%d bloggers like this: