Accessibility links

Bush Signs Homeland Security Bill, Calls for Temporary Workers Program

President Bush has signed a $31 billion homeland security bill with calls for lawmakers to approve his temporary guest worker program.

In Washington Tuesday, Mr. Bush said the bill includes hiring more border enforcement agents and expanding detention facilities to hold illegal immigrants from the time they are arrested until when they are deported.

The president said, however, border enforcement must be part of a more comprehensive approach. He proposed a temporary workers program, which he said would let agents focus more on capturing drug smugglers and terrorists along the nation's borders.

On Capitol Hill, Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff told lawmakers tougher border security alone will not stem the tide of illegal immigration, saying it required a legal way for migrant workers to gain temporary employment in the country.

Lawmakers are divided on the issue, with some calling for border enforcement to take priority while others want to address the more complex issue of undocumented workers first.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.