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Bipartisan immigration reform back on the table

Two high-profile Senators from across party lines are re-starting talk of immigration reform. Senators Charles Schumer, a Democrat, and Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, have a four-part plan that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

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Many Republican leaders have taken a hard position against illegal immigrants. Obama's unsuccessful Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, said during the campaign that illegal immigrants should "self-deport" from the country.

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Since the election, some influential conservative voices, including television commentator Sean Hannity, have announced support for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the United States with no criminal record.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said on Friday that the U.S. immigration system is broken, and that Obama had to take the lead. Boehner has said he is confident Republicans could find common ground with the president.

The Obama administration announced in June it would relax US deportation rules so that many young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children can stay in the country and work.

The change would allow illegal immigrants who, among other criteria, are younger than 30 years old and have not been convicted of a felony to apply for work permits.

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