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Senate Bill Calls for Tighter Security, Worker Program

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Turning now, to other news on Capitol Hill: the Senate, yesterday, passed its version of the immigration bill. That's after weeks of difficult debate and many amendments. The Senate measure gives millions of illegal immigrants the opportunity to become U.S. citizens. It also calls for tougher border control. Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy co-sponsored the bill.

Senator EDWARD KENNEDY (Democrat, Massachusetts) It strengthens our security and reflects our humanity. It is intended to keep out those who would harm us and welcome those who contribute to our country.

MONTAGNE: The vote was 62 to 36, with many Republicans voting against the bill, among them Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Sen. JEFF SESSIONS (Republican, Alabama): The border is not secured by this legislation.

MONTAGNE: The Senate bill has President Bush's support, but now it must be reconciled with a much stricter immigration bill, passed last year, by the House of Representatives. Unlike the Senate's measure, the House legislation does not have provisions for either legalization of undocumented workers, or a guest worker program. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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