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White House presses lawmakers on immigration bill

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush continued to push for passage [transcript; video] of the latest comprehensive immigration reform bill [S 1348 summary; JURIST report] Friday, denying conservative claims that the bill is "amnesty" by insisting it brings consequences for those who entered the US illegally. Bush recognized bipartisan complaints that the bill has problems, but responded that it "is a good piece of legislation", and being so complicated, questioned whether it was worth it to "sacrifice the good for the sake of the perfect". Commerce Secretary Carlos Guiterrez, who had assisted in drafting the reforms [statement], told reporters after the president's speech that although not everyone will get everything they want, "everyone will get something, and in the end, what we come up with is better for the country."

Since its proposal, the White House has been forced to defend the legislation [JURIST report] from conservative critics who argue that it goes too far, and liberal critics who argue it doesn't go far enough. Last week, the Senate voted to slash the maximum number of temporary guest workers [JURIST report] that could be annually admitted into the United States from 600,000 to 200,000. AP has more.

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