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WASHINGTON (AP) - Religious and labor leaders are criticizing plans by senators writing an immigration bill to boost employment-based immigration and limit visas granted to people because of family ties.

On a conference call Wednesday, officials representing the Roman Catholic Church, the AFL-CIO and others said that family immigration is a cornerstone of the nation's immigration policy and that shouldn't change. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says immigration reform should work to unite families, not divide them.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others involved in writing a comprehensive immigration bill say U.S. citizens should only be able to sponsor immediate family members to join them in the U.S.- not siblings and others as is now allowed. Instead they want more visas for people with job prospects or educational achievements.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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