[JURIST] Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives [official website] are planning to hold an additional 19 hearings [press release] on immigration [JURIST news archive] in 12 states across the country to garner support for strict border controls they say will help stop illegal immigration. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] and Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) [official website] are both sponsors of the hearings [JURIST report], which they hope will address concerns with the legislation passed by the US Senate that differs considerably from the bill approved by the House.
The Senate bill [S 2611 summary; JURIST report] allows some illegal immigrants to earn US citizenship, while the House version [HR 4437 summary; JURIST report] calls illegal immigration a felony and proposes stricter border security. The representatives are optimistic that negotiations with the Senate can begin soon in order to present a unified bill to President Bush before the November congressional elections. Reuters has more.