Senate: No to Amnesty!

Aww, what a shame:

The US Senate voted Thursday to kill off a landmark immigration bill which would have granted a path to citizenship to 12 million illegal immigrants, in a severe blow to President George W. Bush.

In a stunning defeat for the bill, which would have also established a merit-based immigration system, Senators voted by 53 to 46 votes against moving ahead with a final vote on the measure.

The 46 votes mustered by the supporters of the bill were well short of the super-majority of 60 votes needed to keep alive the measure, branded an “amnesty” by opponents.

Before the vote, Senators from both sides said a vote to derail the bill would likely doom efforts to tackle immigration reform before the 2008 presidential election.

The bill had represented one of President George W. Bush’s last, best hopes for a signature second-term domestic achievement, and its failure will come as another painful blow to a White House besieged with political woes.

The measure had staggered in the Senate for weeks, collapsing earlier this month under fierce opposition, mainly from conservatives who branded it an “amnesty” for those who broke the law to enter the United States.

Democrats from conservative districts also found it difficult to support the bill, and some of them also fretted at the terms of a guest worker program included in the bill.


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