Arkansas Congressional Delegation Still at Odds on Immigration Bill

MAY 19, 2006 - Posted at 7:48 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Key provisions of an immigration bill continue to divide members of the Arkansas congressional delegation.  The question of what to do with millions of illegal immigrants already here seems to be the biggest point of difference.

As debate continued this week in the Senate, the idea of allowing illegal immigrants to attain legal status under certain circumstances has been gaining ground.

But any bill the Senate passes would have to be reconciled with a House bill passed in December that would take strong measures against illegal immigrants and their employers.  Those measures include making illegal status in the United States a felony.

Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor support giving illegal immigrants a chance at legal status if they take steps including paying fines.

But Representatives John Boozman, a Republican, and Democrats Mike Ross and Marion Berry, say they're still opposed to giving illegal immigrants a chance at legal status.

Representative Vic Snyder says he hopes there will be room for compromise on the issue.  Snyder voted against the House bill that would make it a felony to be in the country illegally.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)