US immigration law unlikely soon, Bush tells Fox

Via Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – President Bush has told Mexican President Vicente Fox that the U.S. Congress is unlikely to pass immigration reforms before elections in November, Fox said on Monday.

The Mexican president asked Bush about the negotiations in Congress over an immigration overhaul when the two leaders met at the G-8 summit in Russia at the weekend.

Bush cautioned that time was running out.

“He pointed out that this period is very short, there are only two or three weeks before Congress members go on the election campaign,” Fox told Mexican radio on a flight from St Petersburg to Madrid.

“So the chance of the immigration issue reaching approval in the House of Representatives and reaching joint approval isn’t very high,” Fox said.

Fox has pushed for a loosening of U.S. immigration laws to allow more Mexicans to work legally in the United States since he came to power more than five years ago.

But Mexican government officials complain this push became more difficult after the September 11 attacks and the growing U.S. focus on homeland security.

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius said Bush “did acknowledge the limited number of days the Congress is in session between now and August recess, which brings to question whether it can be approved by that date.”

“But that doesn’t change the fact that the president will push for a comprehensive bill before they adjourn for the year,” he said.  

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