Flake Joins Bipartisan 'Gang of Eight' on Immigration Reform

Friday, 07 Dec 2012 11:30 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Eight men who will sit in the next Senate are  discussing comprehensive immigration reform — possibly signaling a top priority on Capitol Hill next session.

The Republicans in the group are Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, and Sen.-elect Jeff Flake of Arizona, Politico reports. The Democrats are Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

“Graham and I are talking to our colleagues about this right now — and I think we have a darn good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year,” Schumer said on “Meet the Press” in a Nov. 11 interview. “The Republican Party has learned that being … anti-immigrant doesn’t work for them politically and they know it.”

Schumer said on the program that he and Graham would revive talks from 2010 that led to a four-point reform plan, Politico reports.

Other members have been visible on the immigration issue in recent years, including McCain’s negotiating role in Congress’s last major attempt at comprehensive reform five years ago.

Last year, Schumer and Lee coauthored legislation to attract foreign investors to buy property and reside in the United States.

Flake drafted an immigration overhaul plan in 2007 with Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Politico reports, and Durbin has long advocated for the DREAM Act.

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