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Controversy Erupting After Leak Of White House Immigration Plan

North lawn of the White House (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

North lawn of the White House (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama’s chief of staff said Sunday that the White House is working with a bipartisan group of Senators on immigration with no proposal yet.

But a preliminary draft that has made its way around Washington has already received plenty of buzz. It would create a visa program for roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants, starting the process toward permanent residency, 1010 WINS reported.

The leaked proposal would also add additional funding for border security, and require employers to verify the immigration status of all new employees within four years, CBS News reported.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday called the proposal “dead on arrival,” and criticized the White House for drafting immigration legislation without looking for input from Republican members of Congress.

Rubio the bill “does nothing to address guest workers or future flow, which serious immigration experts agree is critical to preventing future influxes of illegal immigrants,” CBS News reported.

CBS News also reported U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took issue with the leak, saying it “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 Republicans?”

Meanwhile, on “Face the Nation,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough defended the proposal, and said the White House would be prepared with its own plan if Congressional action on the issue stalls.

“There’s no evidence that [the group’s efforts] have broken down yet,” McDonough said on “Face the Nation.” “We’re continuing to support that; we’re involved in those efforts by providing them technical assistance, providing them ideas. And I hope Republicans and Democrats up there don’t get involved in some typical Washington back and forth sideshow here.”

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