POLITICS

Immigration Bill: Business, Labor Groups Announce Agreement On Key Component

02/21/2013 12:24 pm ET

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO say they have a deal on principles for a new visa program to bring lesser-skilled workers to the U.S. — a key component of any immigration overhaul bill.

The groups announced the breakthrough Thursday after weeks of closed-doors negotiations at the request of senators involved in crafting an immigration deal on Capitol Hill.

The principles include agreement to create a mechanism to let businesses more easily hire foreign workers when Americans aren't available to fill jobs. This will require a new kind of worker visa program that does not keep workers in permanent temporary status.

But the joint statement from the chamber and AFL makes clear that more work needs to be done to turn their deal into a bill.

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