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McCain doubts guest worker plan will survive Senate immigration vote

[JURIST] Senator John McCain (R-AZ) [official website] said in a press conference Tuesday that he likely does not have the 60 Senate votes required to overcome the expected procedural maneuverings of conservatives who oppose his bipartisan guest-worker plan, supported by the White House as part of an immigration reform package [JURIST news archive]. Conservatives characterize the proposal as the equivalent of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been working in the US for six years, while McCain and bill co-sponsor Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) [official website] say their bill does not pardon illegal workers, as it would require them to pay a $2,000 fine and all back taxes before submitting to a background check prior to applying for green cards. President Bush last week called once again [JURIST report] for legislation that includes a temporary worker provision.

The Senate Judiciary Committee last week approved a draft bill [JURIST report] that includes the program, unlike the stricter immigration legislation passed by the House [JURIST report] late last year. AP has more. Read McCain's latest Senate floor statement on the immigration bill.

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