Comprehensive immigration bill fails in United States Senate

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill backed by both United States President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy failed to receive enough cloture votes to overcome a possible filibuster and move on to a final vote in the United States Senate. The cloture vote was 53 votes against and 46 votes in favor; 60 votes are needed to invoke cloture in the Senate.

The large, complex bill was a compromise referred to as the "grand bargain" that would have made many changes to American immigration laws, including an expanded "guest worker" plan and a "path to citizenship" for immigrants currently residing illegally in America. The bill was largely drafted behind closed doors in negotiations between the White House and Senate leaders of both parties.

Proponents argued that the bill would have fixed enforcement problems with current immigration policy and that it was a reasonable compromise, while opponents charged that it amounted to an "illegal alien amnesty". Public opinion polls showed that the bill was unpopular among Americans surveyed, many of whom believed it would make things worse. According to Rasmussen Reports, only 22% of Americans favored the bill as of June 25.

"Bush wanted to do something good, but the Senate wouldn't let him. It's disappointing," Miguel Gonzalez told Reuters. Gonzales has been in the United States for five years.

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