Bush signs U.S.-Mexico border fence bill
Bush Signs Bill to Put Fencing on Mexican Border
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 54 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - President Bush signed a bill Thursday authorizing 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to give Republican candidates a pre-election platform for asserting they're tough on illegal immigration.
"Unfortunately the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and therefore illegal immigration has been on the rise," Bush said at a signing ceremony.
"We have a responsibility to enforce our laws," he said. "We have a responsibility to secure our borders. We take this responsibility serious."
He called the fence bill "an important step in our nation's efforts to secure our borders."
The centerpiece of Bush's immigration policy, a guest worker program, remains stalled in Congress.
And a handful of House Republican are at the brakes, blocking negotiations with the Senate for a bill that includes the president's proposal.
Still, Bush argues that it would be easier to get his guest worker program passed if Republicans keep their majorities in the House and Senate after the Nov. 7 elections. His proposal would allow legal employment for foreigners and give some of the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States a shot at becoming American citizens. >>>cont