A draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years. The plan also would provide for more security funding and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires within four years. In addition, the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a newly created “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa, under the draft bill being written by the White House. If approved, they could then apply for the same provisional legal status for their spouse or children living outside the country, according to the draft.


The bill is being developed as members in both chambers of Congress are drafting their own immigration bills. In the House, a bipartisan group of representatives has been negotiating an immigration proposal for years and are writing their own bill. Last month, four Republican senators joined with four Democratic senators to announce their agreement on the general outlines of an immigration plan.


One of those senators, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Obama‘s bill repeats the failures of past legislation and would be “dead on arrival” in Congress. “It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders,  (and) creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally,” Rubio said. “It would actually make our immigration problems worse.”


The draft was obtained from an Obama administration official who said it was being distributed to various agencies.  The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to release the proposal publicly. The bill mirrors many provisions of the bipartisan 2007 bill that was spearheaded by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and ultimately failed.


In his first term, Obama often deferred to Congress on drafting and advancing major legislation, including the Affordable Care Act. He has openly supported the efforts in Congress to take the lead on immigration legislation, and just this week met with Democratic senators to discuss their proposals. But two weeks ago in Las Vegas, while outlining his immigration plans, Obama made clear that he would not wait too long for Congress to get moving. “If Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away,” he said.
White House spokesman Clark Stevens said Saturday that the administration continues to support the bipartisan efforts ongoing in Congress.
“The president has made clear the principles upon which he believes any common-sense immigration reform effort should be based,” Stevens said. “We continue to work in support of a bipartisan effort, and while the president has made clear he will move forward if Congress fails to act, progress continues to be made and the administration has not prepared a final bill to submit.”


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Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony may be separated, but they’re still family! The friendly exes recently reunited to celebrate a birthday party — and even posed for a family photo with Lopez’s boyfriend Casper Smart and Anthony’s girlfriend Shannon de Lima.

Lopez, 43, shared the happy family photo on Twitter Thursday, Feb. 7, with Anthony and Smart posing on either side of them. The celebration was in honor of Anthony’s son Cristian’s 12th birthday on Feb. 5. The singer shares Cristian — plus younger son Ryan, 9 — with ex-wife and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torress.

Happy Birthday Cristian!” Lopez tweeted Thursday alongside the shot. “House party. Familia.”

Lopez began dating 25-year-old Smart, her former backup dancer, in October 2011. Anthony and 24-year-old model Lima went public with their romance in January 2012. Last month, the couple released a statement announcing they had split, but it appears they may be back together as the model retweeted the group photo, which Anthony tagged her in.

The big group shot also includes Lopez and Anthony’s adorable 4-year-old twins, son Max and daughter Emme. The two stars separated in July 2011 after seven years of marriage. Anthony filed for divorce in April 2012, but the split has not yet been finalized.

Lopez told recently USA Today that their kids “didn’t know anything” at first. “They’re starting to figure it out now, a year and a half later,” she said. “They were just 3 at the time.”

Read more: US MAGAZINE

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Romney’s endorsements: Where’s Bush ’43?


MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts speaks with power political panel: Alicia Menendez of NBC Latino, New York Daily News Columnist S.E. Cupp, and USA Today politics reporter Jackie Kucinich.

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>>> one person who has been noticeably absent from the romney endorsement circuit, former president bush . a question about g.w. made for an awkward exchange with romney and the parents of the 43rd president.

>> endorsement?

>> no, no.

>> i love that picture of the two presidents, father, son. quite a legacy.

>> we want to bring in our political power panel this morning, political commentate, alista menendez and jackie kucinich. great to have you here. former president g.w. bush after after thought yesterday, also m.i.a. at half a dozen fund-raisers romney ‘s had throughout texas this week. what do you make of the fact that he’s virtually invisible now? is the silence deafening?

>> i think that the bushes are very aware of the fact that their brand at this point is still a bit complicated, that for george w. bush to come forward isn’t necessarily the boon to mitt romney that he wishes it were. the bigger endorsement is the jeb bushendorsement, big regional strength in florida even if doesn’t weigh huge in the primary it’s great in the general.

>> one endorsement the democrats are jumping all over is paul ryan . take a look. a new ad attacking romney and ryan ‘s support for one another. when old mitt claps his hands for the paul ryan plan that’s amaury*

>> when the plan came out i applauded it when paul ryan gives props to old mitt romney ‘s chops that’s amore*

>> entitlement speech was very good.

>> do you think that radio ad is going to be lightning for what’s taking place this love fest between the two, other than that a song in our head for the rest of the day.

>> no. these endorsements don’t mean anything and they especially don’t mean much when they’re delivered both rubio and ryan have given them. those are both great candidates and conservative favorites. but their endorsements were more process driven than about mitt romney . their endorsements were we need to come together, we don’t want to fight on the floor of the convention, not ringing endorsements for mitt romney . i think both of those guys kind of wanted to just get them out of the way.

>> all right. jackie , despite romney ‘s lead in wisconsin there’s a new nbc/marist poll showing him trailing president obama by double digits . the president has 52% support versus romney ‘s 35 and trailing the president in several other battleground polls. do you expect numbers to tighten up as romney begins to wrap up the nomination?

>> i think as we see the campaign go on, they might tighten up a bit. but romney is suffering from is not being able to really gin up a lot of enthusiasm with some of the under pent voters and that’s — he hasn’t been able to pay a lot of attention to them because of the conservative nature of the this race. it will tighten up a about they have find a way to generate enthusiasm to voters on the fence.

>> as we talk about rick santorum , if he does poorly in wisconsin and numbers are fading in pennsylvania what does it mean for his campaign?

>> interesting aspect of that poll that we saw of the nbc/marist poll santorum fares better against obama than romney does. there’s still support out there. he doesn’t have much reason to get out of the race before pennsylvania. so i would imagine he’ll probably stick around.

>> doesn’t rick santorum support president obama more than he supports romney ?

>> santorum?

>> yeah. isn’t he the one that said if i’m not the one, don’t vote for romney , vote forpresident obama .

>> he was trying to say mitt romney and obama have more in common than people think.

>> let’s talk about newt gingrich . sheldon adelson , the billionaire benny factor single-handedly penning checks to the campaign met with romney ‘s backers according to “the washington post .” ed ale donson and his family spent $16 million, that’s a drop in the bucket, a heavy night on the town for that family. jackie , what more does newt gingrich need to do to get the message that this isn’t going his way and he needs to hang it up?

>> i don’t think anyone can make newt get out other than newt. he’s going to stick around. at this point he’s not making a big impact in polls anymore. the frank lynn marginal poll had him at single digits. he can stick around as long as he wants to. he wants to be part of the conversation and whether or not anyone’s paying attention.

>> as we speak of wealthy donors the word that the company at the center of the pink slime controversy involving ammonia-tainted beef by-products headed by a majorromney donor, es this easy pickings for democrats to make a pink slime ad?

>> sure. democrats are focused on the ryan contrast piece. i think that will play much bigger and better with voters than this temporary question of pink slime connecting it to medicare, medicaid, big tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires. that’s what’s going to resonate with voters, not this meat thing.

>> i think alicia’s right. i don’t think the pick slink distraction will have too many legs.

>> ladies, thanks so much. appreciate it.

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