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11/28: Bush Seeks 'New' Immigration Strategy
Released 29 November 2005  By LIZ SIDOTI - The Associated Press

Bush Seeks New Immigration Strategy
.c The Associated Press

WACO, Texas (AP) - President Bush is trying to build support for a comprehensive immigration strategy even though Congress has shelved the issue for now.

Republican congressional leaders postponed work on immigration proposals until early next year, partly because lawmakers are divided over the scope of such changes and whether foreigners illegally working in the United States should be allowed to stay.

Trying to keep the heat on lawmakers, the president was scheduled to leave his Crawford, Texas, ranch after spending nearly a week there for Thanksgiving, to pitch his plan in Tucson, Ariz., on Monday, and El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday.

Bush's plan pairs a guest worker program for foreigners with border security enforcement, an attempt to satisfy both his business supporters, who believe foreign workers help the economy, and his conservative backers, who have made fighting illegal immigration a priority.

To that end, the president was expected to focus heavily on border security in remarks at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

The two-day push comes a month after Bush signed a $32 billion homeland security bill for 2006 that contains large increases for border protection, including 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents.

Senate GOP leaders plan to take up legislation early next year that will address the contentious issue of a guest worker program. Their counterparts in the House have indicated they want to take up border security first and then move to a guest worker program.

Bush has been urging Congress to act on a guest worker program for more than a year. Under his plan, undocumented aliens would be allowed to get three-year work visas. They could extend that for an additional three years, but would then have to return to their home countries for a year to apply for a new work permit.

While in Arizona on Monday, the president also planned to attend a fundraiser in Phoenix for Republican Sen. Jon Kyl as campaigning for next year's congressional elections gets under way.

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11/28/05 04:22 EST

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