Immigration reform supporters have concerns about bipartisan plan

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The reaction to a bipartisan immigration reform plan being outlined today is generally favorable -- from Latino advocacy groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and organized labor. But some are also sounding a note of caution.

The head of the AFL-CIO is questioning a proposal that would require illegal immigrants to provide proof of employment before they can gain legal status. Richard Trumka says it could exclude millions of workers who can't provide proof, because they've been forced to work "off the clock" or they are independent contractors.

The plan includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States. But Clarissa Martinez of the National Council of La Raza says the path must be one that is workable. She says it can't be "so rigorous that those seeking to apply would not be able to get there."

And the American Civil Liberties Union is taking issue with a proposal to require employers to use an electronic system to verify employment. The ACLU calls it a "thinly-disguised national ID requirement."

The deal being announced today also covers border security and "guest" workers.

White House praises Senate immigration plan

The White House is praising an agreement on immigration reform reached by senators from both parties, calling it an important first step.

Details about the Senate plan are still sketchy, but White House spokesman Jay Carney says it embodies the same principles President Barack Obama believes are necessary.

A bipartisan group of leading senators is announcing their plan Monday for a sweeping overhaul, including a path to citizenship for about 11 million illegal immigrants. The plan also includes border security, a guest worker system and employer verification.

Obama will travel on Tuesday to Nevada to lay out his vision, which is expected to overlap with the Senate effort.

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