updated 5/25/2006 9:55:11 AM ET 2006-05-25T13:55:11

Former President Carter, a Democrat and frequent critic of President Bush, sees eye-to-eye with him on immigration.

Carter on Wednesday called the Republican president’s commitment to immigration reform “quite admirable,” saying he agrees with Bush’s support of a system that would eventually grant citizenship to some illegals.

The Senate is set to vote as early as Thursday on a bill that calls for tougher border security as well as an eventual chance at citizenship for millions of men and women in the country illegally.

The law should secure the nation’s borders while “at the same time treating those who are here with respect and giving them some hope for the future,” Carter said.

The Senate plan, which closely mirrors Bush’s own proposal, faces an uncertain fate in the House, where representatives have passed legislation that would expose all illegal immigrants to felony charges.

Carter spoke at the close of a three-day forum of international human rights workers at The Carter Center in Atlanta. Human rights activists from 22 countries attended the forum.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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