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President praises Catholic Charities' work

Assimilation programs, such as those offered by Catholic Charities, are an important part of any immigration program, President Bush said Wednesday in a speech on immigration legislation at Metro Community College's south campus in Omaha.

Before the speech, the president learned first hand about two such programs at Catholic Charities' Juan Diego Center "“ a micro-business program and a citizenship class.

Bush also mentioned language, history and civics classes as ways to help in the assimilation process, and praised the Catholic Charities staff and volunteers for their efforts in working with immigrants.

Turning to immigration legislation, the president said the United States can be both a nation of laws and of compassion.

The president continued his push for legislation that:

--Provides for ways to secure the border, including some type of temporary worker program. That program, he said, should include a criminal background check.

--Enforces the law on hiring illegal immigrants, including a new tamper-proof identification program.

--Offers ways for the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country to eventually seek citizenship through appropriate channels, based on the time they have lived and worked in the country. That process would include paying a fine and learning English.

The president's proposals match much of a bill recently approved in the Senate and co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel. A Senate-House conference committee will consider that bill and immigration legislation passed in the House.

Hagel, along with Gov. Dave Heineman and Rep. Tom Osborne, were among the officials attending the speech.

The president's proposals match much of a bill recently approved in the Senate and co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel. A Senate-House conference committee will consider that bill and immigration legislation passed in the House.

Hagel, along with Gov. Dave Heineman and Rep. Tom Osborne, were among the officials attending the speech.

The president also recognized his Metro hosts for their hospitality and for the opportunities the school offers to the Omaha area.

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