MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says he hopes comprehensive immigration reform legislation will pass by the end of this year.
Immigration legislation has been in limbo since the Senate last month passed a sweeping bill with provisions aimed at securing the border, requiring employers to verify their workers' legal status, and offering eventual citizenship to the 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.
The Vermont Democrat, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he's had a lot of meetings with both Democrats and Republicans and plans more meetings next week.
He says the Republican-controlled House passed the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act after senators stood together.
Leahy says he's trying to work "vote, by vote, by vote" on immigration and says he's optimistic about the bill.
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