The White House is circulating a draft immigration bill that would create a new visa for illegal immigrants living in the United States and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years, according to a report published online Saturday by USA Today.

President Barack Obama’s bill would create a ‘Lawful Prospective Immigrant’ visa for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.

The bill includes more security funding and requires business owners to adopt a system for verifying the immigration status of new hires within four years, the newspaper said.

In response to early criticisms of the leaked proposal, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on Sunday that Obama meant for the draft proposal to be a back-up plan in case the bipartisan immigration teams in Congress are unable to come up with a bill fast enough.

‘We’ve not proposed anything to Capitol Hill yet,’ McDonough said on ABC’s ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos.’ ‘We’ve got a bill, we’re doing exactly what the president said we would do last month in Las Vegas, which is we’re preparing. We’re going to be ready.’


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