Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hard Line on Alien Children Stalls Gop

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hard Line on Alien Children Stalls Gop

Article excerpt

To save a major immigration bill, divided Republicans debated on Wednesday how to salvage a provision allowing states to bar illegal alien children from public schools.

The current proposal would permit states to keep children who are illegal aliens out of schools or charge tuition to families who can't prove their children are legal U.S. residents. Such children in public elementary schools as of Sept. 30 would be able to remain through the eighth grade, and high school students would be allowed to graduate.

Among the new proposals under study by the House GOP leadership was one to delay action on the schools provision for a year and to order a study of illegal immigrants in schools. The overall legislation would nearly double the size of the Border Patrol, increase penalties for making fraudulent documents and smuggling aliens, and establish pilot projects for employers to verify job applicants' work eligibility. The bill also would toughen penalties on illegal aliens caught in the United States. `Smart Gun' Meanwhile, lawmakers were touting a "smart gun" that would fire only for its owner. Rep. Steve Schiff, R-N.M., and Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo., praised the life-saving possibilities of the "smart gun." Statistics indicate that 16 percent of police officer deaths occur each year when a criminal uses an officer's gun against him or her, Schiff noted. To combat the problem, Colt's Manufacturing Co. has developed a "smart gun" prototype, which it demonstrated at the news conference. The handgun uses a radio frequency identification system. The handgun's owner carries a tiny transponder, fitted into a ring or watch-like band. When the owner grips the firearm, a "reader" inside the gun recognizes the transponder's signal and releases the firing mechanism. In action taken Wednesday, the House and Senate approved a $12.6 billion transportation funding bill for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The Senate approved a Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill. …

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