Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has introduced immigration reform legislation that does not include a controversial temporary worker program.
In presenting his plan Wednesday, Senator Frist said he disagreed with a plan put forth by the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week that would create a guest worker program. The Republican senator said the program amounted to a form of amnesty and would undermine efforts to secure the nation's borders.
The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Arlen Specter, disagreed with his Republican colleague. He said the committee's proposed temporary worker program did not provide amnesty for illegal immigrants and would provide a way to identify the estimated 11-million undocumented workers in the country.
The Senate is expected to debate immigration reform over the next week. Any legislation approved will have to be reconciled with a measure approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, which does not include a guest worker program.
President Bush has called for lawmakers to approve comprehensive immigration reform, including a temporary worker program. The topic is expected to be part of the agenda when Mr. Bush meets his Canadian and Mexican counterparts at a two-day meeting in the Mexican resort city of Cancun beginning Thursday.