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Bush Urges Passage of US Immigration Reform Bill

President Bush has called again for Congress to approve an immigration reform bill, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the measure off the agenda earlier this week.

In his weekly radio address, President Bush said he understands the skepticism some members of Congress have about certain parts of the legislation. He emphasized that the bill does not provide amnesty to illegal immigrants. He said to stay in the country, illegal immigrants must pay a fine, undergo background checks, register with the government, and wait eight years before applying for legal status.

Senators rejected Reid's effort earlier this week to limit negotiations and schedule a final vote on the bill. Reid blamed Republicans for the failure, while Republicans said Democrats were trying to rush the bill toward final passage.