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Mexico president-elect to push for US immigration reform

[JURIST] Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile], who was certified as the winner [JURIST report] of Mexico's disputed presidential election earlier this week, said Thursday that he will advocate for US immigration reform [JURIST news archive] to allow Mexicans currently in America without papers to work in the US legally. The US Congress reconvened this week, and on Wednesday, US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] said that comprehensive immigration reform will be delayed while Congress focuses on border security and worksite enforcement measures.

Both houses of Congress have passed immigration reform bills and the two versions must be reconciled and voted on before a final bill can be presented to President Bush for his signature. The Senate bill [S 2611 summary], passed in May [JURIST report], would set millions of illegal immigrants on a path to potential citizenship and would authorize a temporary worker program, while the more restrictive House version [HR 4437 summary], passed last year [JURIST report], makes unlawful presence in the US a felony subject to deportation and could punish humanitarian groups aiding illegals.

On Tuesday, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile], the defeated Mexican presidential candidate, said that he refused to recognize Calderon's officially-declared victory [JURIST report] and confirmed plans to establish a parallel government [press release, in Spanish] representing what he called a "true, authentic republic." AP has more.

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