Barack Obama

President Barack Obama reversed course on Saturday, preparing an immigration reform bill that was leaked to USA Today and that would allow illegal immigrants to become full permanent residents within eight years. The White House had previously refrained from offering its own immigration plan, after immigration reform advocates asked him not to do so for fear that his proposals could provoke Republican opposition to any reform bill.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a leader of the “Gang of Eight” that released a bipartisan plan for immigration reform last month, pronounced President Obama’s plan “dead on arrival in Congress.”

Rubio objected both to the substance of the president’s legislation, as well as the fact that that the White House appeared to be preempting the bipartisan effort by preparing a bill without consulting Republicans, and while negotiations were ongoing.

“It’s a mistake for the White House to draft immigration legislation without seeking input from Republican members of Congress. President Obama’s leaked immigration proposal is disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution,” Rubio said in a statement released Saturday. He added that the president’s proposal “repeats the failures of past legislation” by failing to secure the border, giving illegal immigrants an advantage over legal immigrants, and creating incentives for more illegal immigration.

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