Sun. 4:53pm: Lawmakers see immigration overhaul this year

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican and Democratic lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that a long-sought overhaul of the nation’s immigration system will clear Congress this year.

Members of the bipartisan Senate group working on immigration legislation to be announced this week said on today that current politics dictate a pathway for citizenship must be included, along with border security and penalties for employers hiring undocumented workers.

Despite making little progress on immigration in his first term, President Barack Obama won more than 70 percent of the Latino vote, in part because of conservative positions on immigration that Republican nominee Mitt Romney staked out during the GOP primary. Asian voters backed Obama in similar proportion.

Obama is expected to press his case for immigration changes during a trip to Las Vegas on Tuesday.