President Addresses Nation on Illegal Immigration Plan

The announcement came Monday night from a nationally televised address.

President Bush, said, "We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws."

In an effort to show he's getting tough on illegal immigration, president bush called for the temporary deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops along the U.S. -Mexican border. Under his plan, the soldiers would help with logistics and administrative duties, but law enforcement would remain in the hands of the U.S. border patrol.

Bush said, "This initial commitment of Guard members would last for a period of one year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online."

The president asked congress for more funding to improve the border patrol's manpower and equipment. He also wants to hold employers accountable. Mr. Bush is pushing for a tamperproof I.D. card that would help prevent document fraud.

President Bush pitched his plan just hours after the senate began debating a sweeping immigration reform bill. It includes a new temporary worker program, and provides an eventual path toward citizenship for most of the 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants already in this country. It's a concept the president supports, but he says he doesn't consider it amnesty.

Many conservatives disagree. They say it is amnesty, and they support a much tougher measure passed by the house that would criminalize illegal immigrants. Monday night, democrats also criticized the president's plan.

They say it's a misuse of the National Guard, which is already spread way too thin in Iraq and disaster relief areas.

The president will talk more about his plan on Thursday, when he visits the border in Arizona.