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O'Neill: hurdles still ahead for immigration bill

House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill said Thursday that a controversial immigration control bill still faces a rocky road, even though the House narrowly approved the measure.

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The chamber approved the bill Wednesday on a 216-to-211 vote. It took seven days of intense debate before a vote on the entire measure was possible.

The legislation seeks to stem the flow of illegal aliens across US borders and makes it a crime to hire undocumented workers.

The House also approved a plan for giving illegal aliens a chance to remain in this country - but only if they can prove they have lived and worked here since Jan. 1, 1982.

The measure must go to a conference committee, where differences between it and a Senate version are worked out. Both chambers then must vote again on final passage.

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