President Bush is vowing to help House Republicans enact tighter immigration-security controls “early in the next session” of Congress.
The promise—made in a letter to members of Congress—was part of the final push by the White House to win support for the massive intelligence-overhaul bill, which was stripped of several key immigration reforms so it would pass more easily.
“I look forward to working with the Congress early in the next session to address these [border security] issues, including improving our asylum laws and standards for issuing driver’s licenses,” Mr. Bush wrote.
But the president’s promised immigration reforms could come too late, House Republican leaders said.
“These provisions are not too controversial—they are vital,” said F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee and led the opposition to the pared-down intelligence bill. “How could we face grieving families in the future and tell them that while we might have done more, the legislative hurdles were just too high? I, for one, cannot, and I, therefore, oppose this bill.”