Gang of 8 Ready to Lift Lid on Sweeping Immigration Plan

Senators will file bipartisan legislation today

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2013 4:31 AM CDT | Updated Apr 16, 2013 6:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – The biggest overhaul of American immigration laws in decades will be filed today, though the bipartisan group of eight senators who crafted it have canceled a scheduled press conference because of the Boston Marathon bombing. The bill provides a 13-year path to US citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, but only after steps have been taken to boost border security, reports the New York Times, which notes that the legislation is certain to spark months of intense debate.

The pathway to citizenship lies at the heart of the bill, but it also includes guest worker programs for low-income jobs and farm labor, new verification measures for companies hiring new workers, and measures to clear the huge backlog of people who have applied to come to the US legally, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two members of the Gang of Eight, Sens. Chuck Schumer and John McCain, will meet with President Obama today about the plan, titled the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013," sources tell Politico.

Josue Benavides, 28, center, who is originally from El Salvador, poses for a portrait with his cousins  fter attending the Rally for Citizenship, in support of immigration reform last week.
Josue Benavides, 28, center, who is originally from El Salvador, poses for a portrait with his cousins fter attending the "Rally for Citizenship," in support of immigration reform last week.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
An immigration reform supporter flies the American flag during a march Wednesday, April 10, 2013, in San Francisco.
An immigration reform supporter flies the American flag during a march Wednesday, April 10, 2013, in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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There's a realization among most Republicans and Democrats that this issue needs to be addressed. You can't have 11 million people living in the shadows forever. - Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.)

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