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Senate rejects two amendments to revived immigration bill

[JURIST] The US Senate Wednesday voted down two proposed amendments to the comprehensive immigration reform bill [S 1639 summary] formally revived [JURIST report] Tuesday. Both proposals were part of Amendment 1934 [summary], sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). A proposal by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) [official website] to limit permanent legal residency status only to immigrants who have been in the country at least four years was voted down 79-18 [roll call]. Without the amendment, the reform bill would make any immigrant who came to the US before January 1, 2007 eligible for legal status. The other proposal, by Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX), would have required all illegal immigrants to return temporarily to their home countries in order to be eligible for permanent legal status in the US. It was voted down 53-45 [roll call]. Votes continued Wednesday for other proposals amending S 1639, including one to halt the issuance of green cards to illegals and another to ease immigration limitations on family members of illegals living in the US.

President Bush has pressed the immigration proposal, which stalled after failing a cloture vote [JURIST report] earlier this month, saying [statement] Tuesday that he believed it would be "harder to enforce the border" if the bill failed to become law. The bill faces a test vote in the Senate on Thursday. AP has more.

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