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Bush to visit Tucson today


Photo
Jacob Konst/Arizona Daily Wildcat
President Bush speaks to supporters at the Tucson Convention Center on March 21 as part of his tour around the country to support his plan for Social Security reform. Bush plans to speak about his concerns with current border security at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base today. The speech is not open to the public.
By Joe Ferguson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 28, 2005
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President to discuss border security at Davis-Monthan

President Bush is expected to give a speech today in Tucson at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base about his concerns with current border security.

The speech, which is not open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 2:40 p.m. and will focus on border security as well as comprehensive immigration reform, said White House spokesman Blair Jones.

In addition to the president, Jones confirmed the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff are scheduled to appear alongside the president.

Jones would not comment on whether Bush plans to unveil new initiatives during his Tucson visit, but as of now there are two competing bills in the U.S. Senate addressing border security and immigration.

Three members of the Arizona congressional delegation, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Snowflake, and Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz.,

are backing the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005.

If passed, the bill would allow illegal immigrants to get a temporary work visa after paying a fine and passing a criminal background check. After six years on the temporary work visa, the worker could then apply for a permanent visa to remain in the U.S. indefinitely, according to Library of Congress Web site.

Sen. Jon Kyl, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, is a co-sponsor of the other bill, the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Act of 2005, which would allow illegal immigrants to stay and work in the U.S. for up to two years.

At the end of that period, workers would have to return to their native country. The bill would require those who wanted to apply for future work visas to go through regular legal channels, according to the Library of Congress Web site.

It's unclear if Bush will announce support for either of these bills during today's visit. President Bush's last visit to Tucson was in March when he addressed a crowd at the Tucson Convention Center about his plan to privatize Social Security.

After today's speech, Bush will attend a fundraiser for Kyl for his recently announced bid for re-election.



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