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Source: Frist will revive immigration bill

Proposal would increase border-security funding by $2 billion

From Dana Bash
CNN

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A GOP leadership aide says Sen. Bill Frist plans to will revive an immigration bill by Memorial Day.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will bring a stalled immigration bill back to the Senate floor by Memorial Day, a Republican leadership aide said Friday.

In what the aide called a "bow" to right-wing critics of the bill, the Tennessee Republican also will propose increasing funding for border security by $2 billion.

Frist said he would revive the bill after it stalled in the Senate earlier this month, but he gave no timetable.

Two weeks ago, the Senate was near a compromise on increasing border security, creating a guest-worker program and developing a system through which illegal immigrants already in the country could gain legal status.

Proponents of the latter called the system "earned citizenship," while opponents decried it as "amnesty."

The bill was puttering, but it stalled when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada objected to Frist's decision to let GOP senators amend the measure.

Supporters say the compromise bill has the support of 65 to 70 senators, enough, if necessary, to overcome a filibuster by conservatives who object to the "earned citizenship" or "amnesty" clauses.

If the measure were to pass the Senate, it would have to be reconciled with an immigration plan passed by the House in December. The House version includes neither a guest-worker program nor a legalization process.

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