WASHINGTON, D.C. Majority Leader Bill Frist intends to seek Senate passage of immigration legislation by Memorial Day, hoping to revive a bill that tightens border security and gives millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship, Republican leadership aides said Friday.
In a gesture to conservative critics of the measure, Frist and other Republicans also intend to seek roughly $2 billion in immediate additional spending for border protection.
The aides said the money would allow for training of Border Patrol agents, construction of detention facilities for immigrants caught entering the country illegally, the purchase of helicopters and surveillance aircraft, and construction of a fence in high-traffic areas.
A sweeping immigration bill was gridlocked as lawmakers left town two weeks ago after Frist and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada failed to agree on a procedure for voting on amendments sought by Republicans opposed to the bill.