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U.S. Senate: Immigration Bill defeated... again

(CNN) Thursday, June 28, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Opponents effectively killed President Bush's long-fought and emotion-laden Senate immigration bill Thursday when members voted against advancing the controversial legislation. The tally was 46 to 53, 14 votes shy of the 60 needed to end debate. [Interesting map]

[...] The bill aimed to create a path to citizenship for some of the 12 million illegal immigrants and to toughen border security. Explaining his reasons for voting against the bill, GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, a leading critic of the measure, said "it would not work."

"Our analysis was that it would result in 8.7 million more people in the next 20 years here illegally," said the Alabama senator.

[...] Enforcement issues were a main concern for Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, who said his vote against the bill sent a crystal clear message "that the American people want us to start with enforcement, both at the border and at the workplace, and don't want promises. They want action, they want results, they want proof, because they've heard all the promises before."

Sessions said there would be "no permanent hard feelings over this among the people who wanted to pass a bill they thought would help America." Backers of the bill, Sessions said, were simply "trying to work a compromise to pass something" and called on members next time to pass legislation that "will work."

[...] On Wednesday, supporters beat back a number of potentially fatal amendments.

Proponents won a major victory with defeat of an amendment removing the bill's most controversial feature -- a path to legalization and eventual citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, which critics charge amounts to amnesty.

Also defeated Wednesday was an amendment by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, that would have required adult illegal immigrants to return to their home country within two years in order to apply for a new type of visa that will allow them to stay in the United States indefinitely.

CNN Correspondents Dana Bash and Andrea Koppel contributed to this report.

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