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Public School Provision Dropped From Immigration Bill

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Sept. 24) -- An amendment that would allow states to bar children of illegal immigrants from public schools will be deleted from immigration reform legislation now before Congress.

Republicans, who proposed the controversial provision, are dropping it to allow the House and Senate to iron out differences in their separate versions of the immigration bill. The Senate version does not include the school ban.

President Bill Clinton had threatened to veto the entire bill if it included the public schools measure and civil rights activists oppose it as unfair to children. But supporters complain that states with heavy immigrant populations, such as Texas and California, cannot afford to pay soaring education costs.

To get the rest of the immigration bill, which includes more border patrols and new employer sanctions, past an anticipated Democratic filibuster in the Senate, the education amendment will be voted on separately and should easily pass the House.

White House Legislative Affairs Director John Hilley says the administration will still have to look carefully at the bill before deciding whether it would be acceptable to the president. He calls the Gallegly amendment on public education the "number one impediment," but says they may not be able to make that decision until Wednesday.

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CNN's Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.

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