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White House Praises Senate Immigration Plan

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The White House is praising an agreement on immigration reform reached by senators from both parties, calling it an important first step.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says it embodies the same principles President Barack Obama believes are necessary.

A bipartisan group of leading senators announced their plan Monday for a sweeping overhaul, including a path to citizenship for about 11 million illegal immigrants. The plan also includes border security, a guest worker system and employer verification.

Obama will travel on Tuesday to Las Vegas to lay out his vision, which is expected to overlap with the Senate effort. 

Meanwhile, the reaction to a bipartisan immigration reform plan being outlined today is generally favorable -- from Latino advocacy groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and organized labor. But some are also sounding a note of caution.

The head of the AFL-CIO is questioning a proposal that would require illegal immigrants to provide proof of employment before they can gain legal status. Richard Trumka says it could exclude millions of workers who can't provide proof, because they've been forced to work "off the clock" or they are independent contractors.

The plan includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States. But Clarissa Martinez of the National Council of La Raza says the path must be one that is workable. She says it can't be "so rigorous that those seeking to apply would not be able to get there."

And the American Civil Liberties Union is taking issue with a proposal to require employers to use an electronic system to verify employment. The ACLU calls it a "thinly-disguised national ID requirement."

The deal being announced today also covers border security and "guest" workers.

The White House calls it a "positive" development. (AP)

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid issued the following statement:

"Fixing our broken immigration system is an urgent priority, and I fully support the efforts of the bipartisan group of senators seeking to solve this issue. We need a comprehensive solution that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship for the estimated eleven million individuals in our country who are undocumented, and a plan to secure our borders. This framework meets those criteria, and I am very encouraged to see this group making progress and finding common ground. The true test of our leadership will be passing common-sense legislation, and nothing short of success will be acceptable.

"President Obama has made immigration reform a top priority for his administration, and I thank him for his leadership. With bipartisan support building in both houses of Congress and a President eager to solve this problem, we should be able to get this done in the months ahead. The American people want a solution, our economy requires a solution, and families across America are praying for a solution. Now is the time to act."

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