But Mr. Frist -- who is widely expected to run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination -- later distanced himself from the bill finished this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee. That proposal would fine illegals but let them remain in the U.S. while they apply for full citizenship.
That bill "goes too far in granting illegal immigrants with what most Americans will see as amnesty," he said on the Senate floor. "I disagree with this approach not just as a matter of principle but because granting amnesty now will only encourage future and further disrespect for the law. It will undermine our efforts to secure our homeland."
Frist retreats from 'amnesty'