Hope springs eternal. Now the only solution is enforcement.
June 7 10:42 AM US/Eastern
By SUZANNE GAMBOA
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation Friday, leaving in doubt prospects for passing a bill offering the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally.
A carefully crafted compromise that supporters had claimed could win an overwhelming majority received only 38 of the 60 votes necessary to protect it from weakening amendments by opponents.
Republicans were united in the 38-60 parliamentary vote but Democrats, who have insisted on no amendments, lost six votes from their members.
Earlier Friday, President Bush prodded lawmakers to keeping trying to reach an agreement, but both sides said the odds were increasing that a breakthrough would not occur until Congress returns from a two-week recess.
"An immigration system that forces people into the shadows of our society, or leaves them prey to criminals is a system that needs to be changed," Bush said at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. "I'm confident that we can change our immigration system in ways that secures our border, respects the rule of law, and, as importantly, upholds the *decency of our country."
Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for the stalemate.
"It's not gone forward because there's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
He said Democrats perceive a benefit in having only a GOP-written House bill that criminalizes being an illegal immigrant. That bill has prompted massive protests across the country, including a march by 500,000 people in Los Angeles last month.
* "Now that immigration is destroying the unity and cultural coherence of the country, it has become fashionable to describe vice as a virtue, to claim that ethnic enclaves, schools full of children who speak no English, increasing racial conflict, voodoo cults, bilingual ballots, Mexican irredentism, interpreters in hospitals and courtrooms, and countless “discrimination” cases are all evidence of wonderful enrichment and “diversity.” No one can point to just how diversity is actually benefiting the country but everyone is convinced it is a great thing." -- Stephen Webster, American Renaissance, 2003