POLITICS

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

FILE -This July 28, 2011, file photo shows the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. During his weekly radio and Internet a
FILE -This July 28, 2011, file photo shows the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. During his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, President Barack Obama faulted Congress for leaving town with several pieces of unfinished business on its plate. He accused lawmakers of being "more worried about their jobs and their paychecks" than their constituents, and he said he wants them to come back in November to finish work on a veterans' job plan, farm policy and helping homeowners refinance. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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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