[JURIST] US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NE) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) [official websites] said in a joint statement [text] Thursday that senators will return to the stalled Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 [S 1348 summary; JURIST report] after they finish work on an energy bill. President Bush has pressed the immigration proposal, which stalled after failing a cloture vote [JURIST report] last Thursday, saying [statement] Tuesday that he believed it would be "harder to enforce the border" if the bill fails to become law. Senators have floated a plan to Reid and McConnell, which would give Republicans and Democrats 10-12 chances to amend the bill, after which senators will initiate a cloture vote.
Last Wednesday, the Senate approved a five-year limit [JURIST report] on a proposed Y-1 temporary guest worker visa program, which critics say allowed too many foreign laborers to compete with domestic workers and drove down wages. The proposal had received bipartisan criticism [JURIST report] for being too broad. Supporters say that without temporary guest worker programs, illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] will continue as foreign laborers will still be attracted to the unmet labor demand. In May, senators trimmed the proposed temporary guest worker program [JURIST report] from its previous maximum limit of 600,000 guest workers a year to 200,000. Opponents of the immigration reform bill say it amounts to "amnesty" for up to 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, and others have objected to restrictions on the right of legal immigrants to bring their families to the US. AP has more.