The immigration security provisions stripped out of the intelligence overhaul bill will be introduced as a separate bill on the first day of the next Congress, House leaders promised yesterday, and will be their first priority for passage.
“We’re doing this to stop the next terrorists and to take necessary steps to protect the American people,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. said. “The bill will address the three most critical elements, including real driver’s license reform, tightening our asylum laws to stop exploitation by terrorists, and finishing the fence on California’s border with Mexico.”
The provisions are expected to be easily approved in the House but face uncertain opposition in the Senate. The Bush administration has quibbled with some of the crackdowns on illegal immigrants supported by the House but President Bush promised members of Congress in a letter this week that he will work with them “early in the next session” to enact some of the scrapped provisions.