Senate passes bill to give millions of illegal immigrants chance at citizenship
CAPITOL HILL - Sweeping legislation to secure U-S borders and offer millions of illegal immigrants a chance at American citizenship has cleared the Senate. Passage was a rare election-year reach across party lines and a triumph for President Bush. The 62-to-36 vote clears the way for what are expected to be difficult talks with the House on its version of immigration reform.
The House bill is generally limited to border enforcement and would make all illegal immigrants subject to felony charges. The Senate version includes money to better secure the borders, provide a new guest worker program and give an eventual shot at citizenship to many of the estimated eleven to 12 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Conservative critics attacked the legislation to the end after trying unsuccessfully to pull it apart with amendments.