The Latest: GOP House leaders cite progress on immigration

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Congress’ efforts to pass immigration legislation (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

House Republican leaders and top moderates and conservatives still don’t have an immigration deal. But they’ve emerged from a private meeting expressing optimism that they’re nearing an agreement.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tells reporters, “We’re close, very close.” Leaders of the party’s warring moderate and conservative factions also suggest that progress is being made.

Top centrists aren’t saying if they’ll follow through on their threat to gather the signatures needed to force a series of immigration votes late this month. They must do so by Tuesday night or those votes will not occur until at least July. Party leaders want to prevent those votes, and instead want a vote on a conservative-leaning measure.

Moderates want legislation giving young “Dreamer” immigrants a chance at citizenship. Conservatives have opposed that.

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3:17 p.m.

House Republicans are laboring to strike an immigration accord, and a deadline has arrived.

GOP leaders and warring moderates and conservatives planned to meet Tuesday to try to reach an agreement that has long been elusive. The two sides have differences over whether to give young “Dreamer” immigrants a way to become legal residents and citizens, and what type of border security measures are needed.

Restive moderates have said that unless there is an agreement today, they will take procedural steps to force future votes on immigration. GOP leaders oppose that effort and are trying to find common ground.

Participants say any deal would likely include provisions changing how immigrant children are separated from their families at the border.

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