Mexico's Fox backs Bush on immigration
Poll finds most Americans against guest worker proposal
Mexican President Vicente Fox calls President Bush's immigration plan helpful to illegal Mexican workers in the United States.
CNN's Harris Whitbeck on the start of the Summit of the Americas.
CNN's Dana Bash on criticism of President Bush from a former treasury secretary.
MONTERREY, Mexico (CNN) -- Mexican President Vicente Fox is supporting President Bush's proposal to grant temporary guest worker status to illegal immigrants in the United States, calling it "an important step forward."
"What we want is the plan presented by President Bush," Fox said in a news conference Monday at the Summit of the Americas, which his government is hosting.
"We hope the plan has a happy ending through the political process that must be followed in the United States."
Last week, Bush proposed changing U.S. immigration laws to allow illegal immigrants to obtain legal status as temporary workers in jobs U.S. employers were unable to fill with Americans.
The plan would allow undocumented workers to obtain three-year temporary visas, renewable once. After those visas expire, the workers could apply for U.S. citizenship but would not be given preferential treatment over others, the Bush administration said.
Fox, who has called for blanket amnesty of illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States, said the proposal would be "a very important step forward for many Mexican workers in the United States."
Bush has said he did not want to reward illegal behavior by granting such amnesty. Some conservative critics have argued his proposal would reward lawbreakers.
The two-day summit of leaders of every country in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba ends Tuesday. (Full story)
A majority of Americans do not favor Bush's plan, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Monday.
Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they disapproved of the new proposal. Asked if the United States should make it easier for illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens, 74 percent said no. A similar number, 77 percent, said immigrants do not take jobs U.S. workers want.
The latest poll was conducted by telephone between January 9 and 11 and included interviews with 1,003 adult Americans. It had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.