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Immigration Debate Reveals GOP Divide

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Immigration Debate Reveals GOP Divide

Politics

Immigration Debate Reveals GOP Divide

Immigration Debate Reveals GOP Divide

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Despite high hopes of fixing a broken immigration system, the Senate's bipartisan bill faltered, and it might not come back. Why did it go off the rails?

Well, it was a deal worked out behind closed doors, bypassing the usual committee system. And the debate exposed a divide among Republicans between the business community and social conservatives — who generally hated the measure.

David Welna reports.

Kennedy, Allies Hold Out Hope on Immigration Bill

Kennedy, Allies Hold Out Hope on Immigration Bill

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Congressional supporters of a bipartisan immigration bill say it is too soon to declare the controversial measure dead. But members of both parties are blaming the other side for the measure's failure to gain enough support to bring to a final vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shelved the wide ranging bill Thursday after it failed to pass a crucial vote on stopping debate on the measure. The measure isn't dead, but it is gasping for life after the Senate twice failed to bring it to a final vote.

Republicans said the failure was brought on by Democratic leaders who didn't allow them to offer enough amendments to make the bill more palatable. But Democrats said it was because President Bush didn't work hard enough to build support for the measure, which his administration helped to draft.

Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy insisted the glass was half full at a morning news conference, hours after the immigration measure he spent months crafting and guiding on the Senate floor came up a bit short.

"I'm encouraged by what the leaders said last evening," Kennedy said, "that they have every intention of continuing the immigration bill on the front order of business for the agenda of the United States Senate."

Five of the bill's co-sponsors from both parties said Friday that they will soldier on in working to get it passed.