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The steel wall at the border that separates Nogales, Sonora, Mexico from Nogales, Ariz. - 


strong>MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Time is running out on immigration reform. Over the weekend Senators and staffers worked to hammer out a compromise bill. As Marketplace's Steve Henn reports, a major sticking point is how this country should decide who is allowed in and who isn't.

STEVE HENN: Conservatives on Capitol Hill say for too long this country has prioritized family ties over education and job skills when deciding which immigrants to let in.

Robert Rector from the Heritage Foundation says the result is too many high school dropouts crossing the border.

ROBERT RECTOR: We never deliberately decided as a nation that 'hey what we want to do here is maximize the entry of very poorly educated workers.'

Rector supports a system that favors educated workers and immigrants who speak English.

But Frank Sharry with the National Immigration Forum says giving some immigrants points for a PhD won't serve the U.S.

FRANK SHARRY: If such a point system is proposed, I suspect you'll hear a lot of speeches in which elected leaders say 'I will not support an immigration policy that would have kept my grandparents out.'

Immigration reform itself may soon be out. If a compromise isn't reached this week, congressional leaders say this issue's dead until after the next election.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.