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Immigration talks taking longer

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan group of senators who last week proclaimed the imminent release of the most sweeping immigration overhaul in decades may have hit some political snags.

Senators and aides have backed off the confident pronouncements that the bill would be introduced this week. They now say they need additional time to iron out disagreements on several major issues, including a path to citizenship and how to handle future low- and high-skilled temporary workers.

“I can’t tell you when,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Tuesday. “I can tell you we’re getting close.”

With labor and business reaching a last-minute agreement on an immigrant temporary-worker program, the so-called “Gang of Eight” senators working on the overhaul returned to Washington this week under intense pressure to introduce their long-awaited immigration overhaul.

Tens of thousands of people from California to North Carolina are expected to gather today on Capitol Hill to express their frustration that no legislation has yet been introduced.