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Leaked immigration proposal draws sharp criticism

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WASHINGTON -

The President has a new immigration plan and it is already raising plenty of Republican eyebrows on Capitol Hill, even if some of the details are a little sketchy.

According to a draft that was leaked to USA Today, the President wants to create a special new Visa specifically for illegal immigrants that would allow them to stay in the country while they wait for permanent legal status.

Even those with criminal records would be welcome so long as they haven't been convicted of three crimes or spent more than a year in prison.

It appears to be a long way from the bipartisan plan that's slowly taking shape.

"Leaks don't happen in Washington by accident," said Sen. John McCain. "This raises the question that many of us continue to wonder about, does the president really want a result or does he want another cudgel to beat up on republicans so he that can get political advantage in the next election?"

The White House, though, says that the President is simply following through on his promise to have a plan of his own ready to go if Congress fails to act.

"We are doing exactly what we said we would do, which is we will be prepared in the event that the bipartisan talks going on the hill, which by the way we are aggressively supporting," said White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

The real sticking point for many Republicans, though, will come down to border security.

The bipartisan plan that's coming together is expected to require that the borders be secure before there is a final pathway to citizenship.

So far, based on what we've seen reported on the President's plan, that trigger mechanism doesn't appear to be part of the White House bill.

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