The US Senate has blocked a vote on a landmark immigration bill, dealing a major blow to one of President George W Bush's key policy planks.
Senators rejected a motion to take the bill to a final vote - meaning action on the planned law is now unlikely until the presidential poll in 2008.
President Bush had argued the bill would give the immigration system a much-needed overhaul.
But its conservative opponents said it gave an amnesty to illegal immigrants.
The planned law would have enabled some of the millions of illegal immigrants already living within the US to eventually seek citizenship.
It would have also offered some would-be migrants the chance to apply for a guest-worker programme.
The bill also proposed tougher border controls to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering the country.
No doubt it's high time Republicans made it clear that they do have a back bone, but they choose to do it over a bill that would have opened up immigration at the same time improving efforts to enforce US borders?
The most important principle that needs to be upheld here is that nations benefit from immigration - they don't loose.
I sympathise with those that decry the modern day western immigration system. The huge entitlement schemes western nations have created has led to a situation where people immigrate for all the wrong reasons: namely for government endorsed graft.
The reason why many immigrants come to western countries is for the great nanny-state that will allow them not to work.
People shouldn't be coming here so that they can live off the state. But surely the solution isn't to limit the free movement of goods and people. It makes more sense to attack the system of entitlements and attack the root of the problem of the modern day immigration crisis.
Further it makes even less sense to attack illegal mexicans living in the US. They aren't living on graft, they are scrapping a living off of the breadcrumbs of legal citizens tables.
So I have to ask the question just what is wrong with amnesty? Wasn't the US founded on immigrants?
This was a bad move by Republicans in the US, and I fear it will lead to even worse as the months drown by.