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Bush Calls For Passage of Senate Immigration Bill

  • VOA News

President Bush has blamed the Senate Democratic leader for blocking passage of a controversial immigration reform bill that would give many of the nation's 11-million illegal immigrants a chance to earn citizenship.

Mr. Bush said on U.S. radio on Saturday that Senator Harry Reid's refusal to allow more than three amendments to the bill is keeping the legislative body from doing its work.

Democrats, however, have blamed majority Republicans for the deadlock, saying that the proposed amendments were aimed at gutting the bipartisan, compromise bill announced on Thursday.

The compromise fell apart Friday in an argument over amendments that would limit who would be eligible for citizenship. The bill's supporters failed to get enough votes to end debate before the start of a two-week spring recess.

The senators say they hope to take up the measure again after they return.

Some Democrats are also concerned the bill would be gutted when it comes up for negotiations with lawmakers from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The House has approved a tougher bill which makes illegal immigration a major crime.

The immigration debate has sparked protests across the nation.

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