Bush Says He Is Winning Immigration Overhaul Support (Update2)
By Holly Rosenkrantz and Nadine Elsibai
April 28 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said he is gaining new support for immigration overhaul as his administration works with lawmakers in both political parties to try to tackle the issue this year.
``I am pleased that some of those who had doubts about comprehensive reform last year are now open to supporting it,'' Bush said in his weekly radio address, without naming who his new supporters are. ``There is a desire on the part of Republicans and Democrats alike to get this problem solved.''
Bush said he wants a ``comprehensive'' approach to immigration that would secure America's borders, create a temporary worker program, foster assimilation and resolve the status of illegal immigrants already in the U.S.
Immigration presents Bush and the Democratic Congress an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation at a time when they are at loggerheads on an array of issues, including the Iraq war and the investigation into the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Republicans in the House blocked his attempt last year to change the law and instead forced through legislation to extend border barriers and boost enforcement. Opponents of his immigration plan have said they haven't softened their stance regarding the guest worker proposal and citizenship.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has said he will use the last two weeks of May for a Senate debate on immigration. House Democrats are likely to consider the issue before their August recess.
Seventy-eight percent of Americans polled in a survey said they believe illegal immigrations living in the U.S. should be allowed to pursue citizenship, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted April 13-15.