Senators take up immigration in first hearing

4:01 AM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
An ICE agent checks on shackled Mexican immigrants on a jet for deportation in May. (By LM Otero, Associated Press)
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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - An illegal immigrant and the secretary of Homeland Security will be among the witnesses as the Senate opens its first hearing on overhauling the nation's immigration laws.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday comes amid a concerted push on immigration reform from the White House to the Capitol. President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to renew his commitment to providing a pathway to citizenship for the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators has been meeting in private to craft a bill that could accomplish that goal while also satisfying conservatives who want to improve border security first.

That process is separate from the Judiciary Committee, but the committee would vote on whatever bill emerges.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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