May 19,2007 00:00
WASHINGTON - U.S. President George Bush touted the bipartisan immigration reform bill as a way to address the issue of the millions of illegal immigrants in the country.
"This bill brings us closer to an immigration system that enforces our laws and upholds the great American tradition of welcoming those who share our values and our love of freedom," Bush said in his Saturday radio address.
A large group of U.S. senators, led by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., announced the compromise bill Thursday. The White House immediately threw its support behind the measure.
The 380-page measure would demand border security be improved before other parts of the bill go into effect, create a temporary worker program and give illegal immigrants in the country a chance to earn a visa.
Bush said the bill would "honor the great American tradition of the melting pot by strengthening our efforts to help new arrivals assimilate into our society."
The Senate is to debate the measure next week while the House has it penciled in for consideration in July.