Bush Can't Satisfy Howard Dean on Immigration Reform

July 7, 2008 - 7:31 PM

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. Senate passage of an immigration reform bill favored by President Bush and 38 of the Senate's 42 Democrats did not stop Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean from blaming Bush for a House version of the legislation.

Despite dramatic differences between the Senate and House bills and Bush's repeated statements in support of the "guest worker" provision in the Senate bill, Dean alleged Thursday night that the "Republican bill passed by the House" has the "President's backing."

The president "has stood on the sidelines while allowing extremists in his party to hijack the debate" over immigration reform, according to Dean.

However, the president has argued in favor of "a temporary worker program that provides foreign workers a legal and orderly way to enter our country for a limited period of time." The temporary or "guest worker" program is part of the Senate bill that passed Thursday night 62 to 36. Twenty-three Republicans and one Independent joined the 38 Democrats in voting yes.

The House bill does not include a temporary worker program. Instead, it calls for treating illegal immigration as a felony crime - both for the individuals arriving in the U.S. illegally and for the people assisting them.

Dean did congratulate Senate Democrats following the Thursday vote, praising them "for their continued leadership ... on the important issue of comprehensive immigration reform."

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