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Republicans introduce tougher immigration bill in US House

[JURIST] Republicans introduced the Secure Borders FIRST (For Integrity, Reform, Safety and anti-Terrorism) Act [press release] to the US House of Representatives Tuesday as a challenge to the White House-sponsored immigration proposal. The bill declares English the nation's official language, requires background checks on all workers, bars all current illegal immigrants from gaining legal status, and calls for an additional 18,000 border patrolmen to be in place by 2008. The proposal also includes a seven-page rebuke of President Bush's approach to immigration reform.

The bill's authors, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Peter King (R-NY) [official websites], created the bill as a direct response to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 [S 1348 summary; JURIST report] currently on hold in the US Senate. The Los Angeles Times has more.

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