Immigration bill encounters setback

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A crucial vote last week in Congress may have sounded the death knell for a landmark immigration bill.

A Senate motion, which would have ended debate on the bill and moved it closer to a final vote, failed. Most Republicans voted against ending debate on the bill. Still, the measure could still be acted on within the next several weeks, said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader.

Nursing home providers have indicated their support for an important piece of the bill - the creation of a guest-worker program, which would allow immigrants to temporarily work in the United States. This provision would help fill the shortage of direct caregivers, they believe. The legislation also would provide a path to legal status for some 12 million immigrants.