While Bush Pushes Immigration Reform, Reid Criticizes GOP

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT


(CNSNews.com) - President Bush expressed confidence during a trip to New Mexico Tuesday that lawmakers will find a compromise on immigration reform legislation.

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) criticized the president's trip, saying: "Unfortunately, a photo-op in New Mexico won't make Republicans in Washington, D.C., support comprehensive reform."

Congress must decide on a compromise between a House bill that is strong on border security and a Senate bill that lets illegal immigrants get temporary work permits so they can work inside the U.S.

"We're making progress toward a comprehensive bill," the Associated Press quoted Bush as saying. He recognized that the differences in both bills may "grab headlines," but "the similarities in approaches are striking."

"We all agree we need to control our borders. There's a common agreement that the federal government has a responsibility to control the borders so that every illegal immigrant caught at the border needs to be sent home," the AP quoted Bush as saying.

However, Reid accused the GOP of standing in the way of immigration reform, noting that on Monday, Republicans blocked "the Senate's own bipartisan comprehensive reform plan from moving forward in Congress."

"After years of Bush Republican incompetence, our borders are unsecured, and our immigration system is broken. The Senate took a major step toward fixing our immigration system. Now, the president must convince his party to enact the comprehensive immigration reform our nation deserves," Reid said in a statement.

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