The issues of guest-worker programs, illegal immigrants,
security and enforcement are scheduled for debate in the U.S. Senate beginning
President Bush has called for the debate to be civil and to
avoid hot buttons such as calling immigrants threats to national security, The
Associated Press reported.
There are at least 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. according to statistics being used by senators on both sides of the aisle. The debate
centers on how to handle things like temporary employment, deportation and
The U.S. House approved an immigration bill last year that
makes felons out of immigrants without documentation, and calls for a 700-mile
fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Critics and activists are calling the bill
unfair. Half a million people rallied on Saturday in Los Angeles, demanding
changes to the bill.
The Senate is working on a separate bill that could be filed
before the round of debates set to begin Tuesday, March 28.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, will open
the debate floor with a measure to increase the number of immigrant visas and
punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, ABC News reported.