Obama immigration bill draft said to emerge

The Obama administration has prepared a draft immigration overhaul plan that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain green cards within eight years, according to a Saturday report in USA Today.

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The newspaper reported that it had obtained the draft from an anonymous administration source. The White House has not confirmed the details to be correct.

USA Today reported that the draft proposal would create a new visa open to the nation's estimated 11 million illegal residents.

The "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa -- which would allow a holder to work and travel -- could be obtained after an applicant undergoes a criminal background check, gets fingerprinted and pays fees.

After eight years under this new visa, the immigrant could then apply to become a legal permanent resident, as green card holders are officially known. Currently, most green card holders can apply to become full U.S. citizens after five years.

The White House is contemplating new requirements for formerly illegal immigrants to get the green card, including paying back taxes and English and civics tests currently only required for citizenship applicants.

The draft also increases funding for Border Patrol agents, adds immigration judges and expands the use of the E-Verify system by which employers confirm the legal status of prospective and current employees.

The draft plan did not flesh out how to deal with future immigration, USA Today reported.

It has been widely known that Democrats want illegal immigrants to eventually be able to become full citizens. The exact balance of rights and responsibilities Obama would seek had so far not been known.

A secretive House group is said to be close to its own proposal. Sources say the group includes Democratic Reps. Luis GutierrezLuis GutierrezHouse Dem: We’ll shut down the government if House doesn’t pass Dream Act Dems rip leaders' deal with Trump for ignoring DACA Rep. Gutiérrez arrested at White House immigration protest MORE (Ill.), Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraWeek ahead in tech: Debate over online sex trafficking bill heats up California lawmakers step up their opposition to Trump California Dems offer preview of party's 2020 agenda MORE (Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), and Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), John Carter (Texas) and Sam JohnsonSam JohnsonHow Republicans split on the Harvey aid, fiscal deal House passes Trump deal on majority Democratic vote Week ahead: Tech awaits Trump budget MORE (Texas).

A Senate "Gang of Eight" late last month released its own immigration framework with a path to citizenship

The group consists of Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetGOP eying 'blue slip' break to help Trump fill the courts NFL star claims he was victim of 'abusive conduct' by Las Vegas police Gardner throws support behind DREAM Act MORE (D-Colo.), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill This week: Senate wrapping up defense bill after amendment fight Cuomo warns Dems against cutting DACA deal with Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Poll finds little support for Menendez reelection Judge tells Menendez lawyer to 'shut up' MORE (D-N.J.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCorker pressed as reelection challenges mount -trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Senate votes down Paul's bid to revoke war authorizations MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTop Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (R-S.C.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (R-Ariz.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration MORE (R-Fla.).

“It’s a mistake for the White House to draft immigration legislation without seeking input from Republican members of Congress,” Rubio said in a statement late Saturday.

“President Obama’s leaked immigration proposal is disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution,” Rubio said. “The President’s bill repeats the failures of past legislation. It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally, and does nothing to address guest workers or future flow, which serious immigration experts agree is critical to preventing future influxes of illegal immigrants. 

“If actually proposed, the President’s bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come.”

--This report was updated at 10:35 p.m.