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Mr. Bush is one of the few in Washington who seems enthusiastic about this particular bill. Though most of its supporters have said the bill is a messy jumble they back because it’s better than the status quo, Mr. Bush called it a “good bill.”

He may have that view because, more than anyone else, Mr. Bush got what he wanted in this bill: a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens and a guest-worker program that makes future workers temporary without a guaranteed pathway to citizenship.