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‘No Concessions’Border Bill? Maybe.

Voter outrage over immigration amnesty proposals that killed “comprehensive reform” was so strong that some of its most strident backers, including presidential wannabee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), have signed on to a strong borders-only proposal.

While flunkies of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said it is unlikely he will allow a vote on a stand-alone immigration bill when Congress returns after Labor Day, the borders-only plan could be attached as an amendment to pending spending legislation, backers say.

Backers also say that, even if rejected this year, it is a momentum builder for 2008, an election year. It would be politically difficult for McCain and other current backers to reverse themselves.

Jon Kyl (Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and chief sponsor, said Congress must continue, to work on the issue.

“The debate we had a few weeks ago on immigration reform should not deter Congress from doing what is still needed to secure our borders and reduce illegal immigration,” Kyl said.

The bill would increase the number of agents patrolling the border, and extend the amount of fencing. It would also authorize additional spending for high-tech radar and surveillance efforts.

(Issue #35, August 27, 2007)

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Updated August 18, 2007