Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Immigration bill dead for this year, woo!

Immigration: Thankfully, the illegal alien forgiveness bill seems to be on death's door.

In a move that could bury President Bush's high-profile effort to overhaul immigration law until after the midterm elections, House GOP leaders yesterday announced a series of field hearings during the August recess, pushing off final negotiations on a bill until fall at the earliest. The announcement was the clearest sign yet that House Republicans have largely given up on passing a broad rewrite of the nation's immigration laws this year. They believe that their get-tough approach -- including building a wall along the border with Mexico and deporting millions of illegal immigrants -- is far more popular with voters than the approach backed by Bush and the Senate, which would create a guest-worker program and allow many illegal immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship. House GOP leaders said yesterday that several committee chairmen will hold field hearings in congressional districts in the Southwest, the South and other areas where the issue of illegal immigration is especially potent. Those hearings will take place before the start of the formal negotiating process between the House and Senate, which could take months to complete given the complexity of the issue and the competing business, labor and social concerns.
AP says just forget it.
WASHINGTON Jun 20, 2006 (AP)— In a defeat for President Bush, Republican congressional leaders said Tuesday that broad immigration legislation is all but doomed for the year, a victim of election-year concerns in the House and conservatives' implacable opposition to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. "Our number one priority is to secure the border, and right now I haven't heard a lot of pressure to have a path to citizenship," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announcing plans for an unusual series of hearings to begin in August on Senate-passed immigration legislation. "I think it is easy to say the first priority of the House is to secure the borders," added Rep. Roy Blunt, the GOP whip.

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