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Senate panel approves immigration bill

7:13 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved far-reaching immigration legislation that gives a chance at citizenship to millions living in the country illegally.
    
The 13-5 vote clears the bill for a Senate debate expected to begin early next month.
    
Committee approval came after the panel's chairman sidestepped a showdown on the rights of gay spouses, heeding appeals from the White House and others who feared such a vote could lead to the bill's demise in the Senate.
    
On a final day of drafting, the panel also agreed to a last-minute compromise covering an increase in the visa program for high-tech workers.
    
The landmark legislation creates new provisions to bring workers here legally and enforce against illegal immigration, as well as creating a path to citizenship for 11 million here illegally.

DAVID ESPO, Associated Press

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