says a Senate compromise on immigration reform will secure the nation's borders,
restore respect for law and meet the needs of the U.S. economy. VOA White House
Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, the bill faces opposition from some House
In his weekly radio address, President Bush thanked Republican and Democratic
leaders in the Senate for coming together on legislation that he says includes
all the elements required for comprehensive immigration reform.
Mr. Bush said the legislation will make it easier for employers to verify the
immigration status of new workers. It creates a temporary worker program and
helps resolve the status of some 12 million illegal immigrants already in the
country without what the president calls animosity or amnesty.
that many hold strong convictions on this issue, and reaching an agreement was
not easy," he said. "I appreciate the effort of Senators who came together to
craft this important legislation. This bill brings us closer to an immigration
system that enforces our laws and upholds the great American tradition of
welcoming those who share our values and our love of freedom."
The president's past efforts to reform U.S. immigration laws were blocked by
members of his own party in the House of Representatives who believe that
offering illegal immigrants a means to regularize their status amounts to
rewarding people who have broken the law.
The latest plan tries to address those concerns by requiring illegal
immigrants to pass a strict background check, pay a fine, hold a job, maintain a
clean criminal record, and eventually learn English. If they want to become
citizens, they will have to pay an additional fine, pass a citizenship test, and
return to their country to apply for a green card.
Beyond opposition from Republicans in the House, the plan is also dividing
the ruling-party's presidential candidates. Arizona Senator John McCain backs
the deal. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and most of the other
Republican presidential hopefuls do
In the Democratic radio address, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
called on the federal government to spend more money on child welfare, including
funds for after school programs and health care for children from poor
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success or who shows promise of succeeding, especially as a political