President Bush has called for civility in the congressional debate over immigration reform, saying the United States does not have to choose between being a compassionate society and a society of law.

He spoke Friday at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Mr. Bush said the immigration system should not force people into the shadows of society or leave them prey to criminals.

The Senate last week began a contentious debate over immigration reform, one that looks as though it will not be finished before Congress breaks for a two-week recess, Friday.

Mr. Bush also referred to abortion, something both he and the Catholic Church oppose. He drew applause from his audience when he said God's hope shines on every child, born and unborn.

He added the United States is working to expand the protections of unborn children.