The U.S. Senate today rejected an effort to limit Social Security benefits for illegal aliens who become permanent residents under an immigration reform bill being debated.

As it stands, the bill the Senate is considering would give millions of illegals a path to U.S. citizenship if they pay fines, back taxes and meet other requirements.

The Social Security proposal, offered by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., would have prevented illegals who become legal from collecting the benefit on wages they earned while working unlawfully.

“Social Security was not intended for people who entered our country illegally,” Ensign is quoted as saying.

Countered Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.: “Their money sits in the Social Security Administration waiting to be matched with an eligible beneficiary, and once those workers establish the eligibility, how in all fairness can we deny them the credit for their past contributions?”

Reuters reported that later today senators will consider an amendment to the bill by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., to make English the national language.

As WorldNetDaily reported, yesterday the Senate approved an amendment to the immigration reform bill that would direct the building of a triple-layer fence along 370 miles of the southern border with Mexico.

The Bush administration today indicated the president supported the fence proposal.

“[Bush] doesn’t think you fence off the entire border but there are places … where fences are appropriate, and then, you build fences there,” spokesman Tony Snow said.

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