is immigration legislation now?
CNN: May 5, 2005 Immigration reform has stalled in Congress, primarily because the majority Republicans are deeply divided over what to do about the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country.
The Senate is considering a proposal that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain legal status, and eventually citizenship, by working for six years, paying a fine, undergoing a background check and learning English. Supporters of the idea call it "earned citizenship," but opponents -- including many conservatives in the GOP base -- denounce it as "amnesty."
When the House passed immigration reform in December, it took a much tougher line. The House bill contains no mechanism for illegal immigrants to earn legal status, and, in addition to making illegal immigration a felony, also calls for building 700 miles of security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The House bill has sparked a wave of protests by immigration supporters, particularly because of the provision making illegal immigration a felony. However, GOP leaders have indicated they are likely to drop that provision when House and Senate negotiators hash out details of a final bill.
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