President Bush said an immigration overhaul proposal would “help enforce our borders but equally importantly, it’ll treat people with respect.”
The White House and key senators in both parties announced agreement Thursday on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. It would also fortify the border, Associated Press report.
“This is a bill where people who live here in our country will be treated without amnesty but without animosity,” Bush said.
The compromise came after weeks of closed-door negotiations that brought the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans on immigration issues together with Bush’s Cabinet officers to produce a highly complex measure that carries heavy political consequences. It still faces a long legislative struggle and its passage by the Senate or House is far from assured.
The plan would create a temporary worker program to bring new arrivals to the U.S and a separate program to cover agricultural workers. Skills and education level would for the first time be weighted more heavily than family connections in deciding whether immigrants should get permanent legal status. New high-tech employment verification measures would make sure that workers are here legally.