Lawmakers in Washington are expected Thursday to take up the difficult issue of immigration.
Their task is to find a way to tighten borders against illegal immigrants while maintaining a flow of low-wage workers for US businesses.
The House managed to pass a border security bill last year. That pleased conservatives clamoring for an immigration crackdown. But it came only after House leaders beat back an attempt by some GOP members to include President Bush's proposal for a temporary worker
In contrast, the Senate is wading right into the thorny guest worker issue.
Republican Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania told fellow senators in advance that the bill is, in his words "a framework for building a consensus."