Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao urged Congress to pass the program, saying the temporary worker program would give aliens an incentive to come out of hiding and let them work legally for six years before being forced to return home, reports the Washington Times.
President Bush, who signed the homeland security spending bill Tuesday, said Congress should combine the guest-worker plan with increased border security.
"We're going to get control of our borders," he said. "Our goal is clear -- to return every single illegal entrant, with no exceptions."
The sudden hard line in the policy comes as Bush tries to assuage his conservative political base -- much of which is upset over his nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court -- the newspaper said. The President also continued to lobby for a program that would allow foreign workers to cross the border legally to fill U.S. jobs temporarily.