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Obama pushing one big immigration overhaul

President Obama is planning to push Congress to pass one big immigration law this year, according to a report by the New York Times, and lawmakers are eyeing March to introduce the potential legislation.

Though Republicans have pushed to break immigration reform down into a series of smaller bills, according to Times sources Obama and Senate Democrats are planning to propose one broad piece of legislation.

From the New York Times:

The White House will argue that its solution for illegal immigrants is not an amnesty, as many critics insist, because it would include fines, the payment of back taxes and other hurdles for illegal immigrants who would obtain legal status, the officials said.

The president’s plan would also impose nationwide verification of legal status for all newly hired workers; add visas to relieve backlogs and allow highly skilled immigrants to stay; and create some form of guest-worker program to bring in low-wage immigrants in the future.

According to a report last week by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, the Obama Administration spent almost $18 billion on immigration enforcement last year, more than the combined spending for every other law enforcement agency.

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