Key senator pushes immigration negotiators

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By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Senate committee chairman is chiding bipartisan negotiators working on an immigration bill, saying their progress is too slow and the delay is setting back action on reform.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy also has criticized President Barack Obama, saying he's urged the president to send his own immigration bill to the Hill. Obama has instead chosen to let the bipartisan negotiations proceed, even though deadlines have come and gone.

Leahy says because there's no bill yet, the Judiciary Committee won't be able to approve a sweeping immigration bill by the end of April. That had been his goal.

The bipartisan Gang of Eight, including Sens. John McCain and Chuck Schumer, initially said they'd release their legislation in March but recently acknowledged it wouldn't happen until April.

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