Bush will focus on legislators who are on the fence or wavering in their support for the legislation, which Bush has endorsed. He wants to make passage a signature achievement for his second term.
"He will sit down with them," says a senior White House official. "He's not backing off."
But the official emphasized that the situation in Congress is "fluid," and some disabling amendments will have to be defeated in order for the compromise to survive. Many conservatives are angry that the bill would offer a "path to citizenship" for millions of illegal workers, a provision that opponents call amnesty. Bush insists it isn't amnesty at all because such workers would be penalized for entering the United States unlawfully.
The Senate will resume deliberations this week, but the House is thought to be the bigger obstacle to approval.
By Kenneth T. Walsh