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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Immigration legislation could come Thursday or next week



Legislation to overhaul the country's immigration laws could come as early as Thursday but more likely next week, Senate aides said this afternoon.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has pushed for a less rushed process, met with other lawmakers crafting the legislation and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and came away with assurances he'll allow "unlimited debate and amendments during the committee mark-up."

"Assuming Republican members push for as much time as possible, the committee debate will last through the next recess, giving plenty of time for public debate and review," aides said.

Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said the senator "has said from the outset that we will not rush this process, and that begins at the committee level. The Judiciary Committee must have plenty of time to debate and improve the bipartisan group’s proposal, so it’s good that senators and the public will have weeks to study this proposal before the Judiciary committee will mark it up. Senator Rubio will be requesting that his Senate colleagues arrange multiple public hearings on the immigration bill. We believe that the more public scrutiny this legislation receives, the better it will become.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 6:33pm]


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