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House group reaches deal on immigration bill

8:42 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- After years of negotiating and a week that saw one of its members nearly bolt from the group, a bipartisan group of House members announced Thursday that they had reached a deal "in principle" on a bill to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

A group of senators filed their version of an immigration bill last month and have been debating and amending it in a Senate committee for the past two weeks.

Now, members of the House group say they will have their bill filed by early June to begin hearings.

"We have finalized an agreement in principle," Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., one of the members of the group, said after the meeting. "I think it's a very responsible, serious, well-thought-out and enforceable piece of legislation."

The announcement caps off a stressful week for members of the group, as Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, threatened to quit the group if they didn't reach an agreement by Thursday. But the group came together Thursday night and Carter emerged from the meeting saying they had reached the agreement in principle, according to The Hill.

Members of the House group declined to offer any details of their agreement on Thursday, saying they still have to finish drafting the final pieces of the bill.

Members of the group are: Diaz-Balart, Reps. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.; John Carter, R-Texas; Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.; Sam Johnson, R-Texas; Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho; Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; and John Yarmuth, D-Ky.

USA TODAY

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