Republican Proposals on Immigration Defeated

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WASHINGTON -- The US Senate Wednesday killed a GOP proposal to require all adult illegal immigrants to return home temporarily to qualify for permanent legal US residency.

The 53-to-45 vote tabled the amendment from Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. It was one of several proposals from opponents to President Bush's immigration bill. Conservative critics consider it a form of amnesty.

As it now stands, the bill could grant lawful status to as many as 12 million illegal immigrants as long as they pass background checks and pay fines and fees. Heads of household seeking permanent legal residency would have to return home to apply for green cards, however.