Obama Plans Single Immigration Law With Path to Citizenship

Published January 13, 2013


U.S. President Barack Obama plans to present in the coming months an immigration reform package contained in a single law that will open up a pathway to citizenship for the majority of undocumented immigrants, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Top White House officials and a group of senators from both parties have been working, separately, on a pair of immigration reform bills designed to resolve the situation of the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the country, the paper said citing official sources.

Obama and Senate Democrats will oppose any measure that does not allow those immigrants who obtain legal status to eventually become U.S. citizens, according to the sources.

In addition, the president will propose the changes within a single comprehensive law, opposing the proposal of several Republican lawmakers, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, who are asking that the legislation be divided into smaller parts to deal separately with issues such as young undocumented people or qualified immigrants.

Obama will announce the outline of his plan in the coming weeks, perhaps in his annual State of the Union address before Congress on Feb. 12, the newspaper said.

The president will argue that his plan for undocumented immigrants is not an amnesty because it would include fines, the payment of outstanding taxes and other obstacles for the undocumented immigrants who would obtain legal status.

His plan will also impose the requirement of verifying, on the national level, the legal status of all new employees, probably via programs similar to E-Verify, which is already in use in many states. 

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