By Balitang America Staff

February 20, 2013

The White House denied rumors that it intentionally leaked details of its immigration plan, which circulated widely at key government agencies to measure of Republican reaction.

Top Obama aides tried to clear up the mess over the weekend, sending apologetic e-mails to the offices of the eight senators drafting a bipartisan bill, according to reports from the Associated Press.

Unnamed senate aides said the bipartisan congressional negotiations on immigration reform are in a good place and said they do not feel the details leaked from Obama’s draft bill would disrupt the process.

The aides added that Obama’s backup bill could end up encouraging Republican lawmakers to rally behind a congressional plan.

Various news reports on the backup bill say undocumented immigrants may have to wait from eight to 13 years before getting a chance to receive legal status; which may either be permanent residency or citizenship.

“I would want to know, why eight years? Why not seven, why not 10? I feel like these numbers are so random. I went to school in
America, I paid taxes in America, I’ve contributed in America, and I’m an American. I’m just waiting for my government to recognize that,” said undocumented Filipino journalist Jose Antonio Vargas said.”

Democratic Georgia Representative John Lewis said the proposed wait time is too long.

“It shouldn’t take eight years; hundreds of thousands, millions of people have lived here for many years. It is justice not just delayed but denied. I hope that we can speed it up,” said Lewis.

While they differ on some key details, both the Republicans and Democrats are contemplating legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.

Republicans want tighter border security as a condition to the granting of legal status to the undocumented.

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