Lawmakers push immigration restrictions

Jan. 27, 2005 at 4:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- House Republican lawmakers are pushing for an overhaul of federal immigration laws this year, but prospects for enacting reform remain uncertain.

Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., unveiled a measure Wedensday to standardize drivers' licenses nationwide, while House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. introduced a package with provisions similar to Davis's that would also toughen immigration laws.

Sensenbrenner's proposal was one of the reasons intelligence reforms was stalled in Congress last fall, forcing President Bush to step in and rescue the measure from defeat.

He was promised by GOP leaders that the measure would be attached to the first must-pass piece of legislation in the current session, which is expected to be a measure providing appropriations for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The move would seemingly ensure approval for the measure and Sensenbrenner has predicted strong support for his bill, but the proposal created a great deal of controversy last fall and immigration issues remain a difficult proposition on Capitol Hill.

Both measures would establish minimum requirements for the issuance of state drivers' licenses, but Sensenbrenner's bill would go further by restricting asylum laws and pay to complete a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

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