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Bush praises senators for immigration deal

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) — Thankful for a breakthrough, President Bush on Saturday praised senators of both parties for delivering a potential deal to overhaul U.S. immigration policy.

The compromise aims to grant legal status to millions of people in the country unlawfully, stiffen border security and create a program for temporary workers. It also would reshape requirements for new immigrants and take measures to prevent illegal workers from getting jobs.

“I realize that many hold strong convictions on this issue, and reaching an agreement was not easy,” Bush
said in his weekly radio address.

“I appreciate the effort of senators who came together to craft this important legislation,” he said. “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.”

A victory for Bush is far from assured. The proposal must get through the Senate, where debate begins Monday, and the prospects of such a plan are also uncertain in the House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Saturday she was not pleased with the immigration agreement.

Speaking to reporters after giving a commencement address at the University of San Francisco, Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters that it would create more restrictive rules on being eligible for a visa because of a relative.

“A point system for unification undermines our family values that we espouse in our country,” Pelosi said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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