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A New Bill Could Make Illegal Immigrants Legal Citizens
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on February 18, 2013 @ 12:27PM
Created on February 16, 2013 @ 7:16PM

The president has a new plan on how to deal with the country's immigration issues.  The plan would allow illegal immigrants to become legal residents within eight years, and eventually full citizens. It's causing a lot of debate on Capital Hill and here in the Mountain State.

Last month, a bipartisan group of senators started working on a general immigration plan, but President Obama has come up of one of his own, in case a plan isn't made fast enough.

Obama's bill would give visas to about 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. However, it would require that they pass a background check, learn English, U.S. History, and government.

In his plan, employers would be required to verify the status of any immigrant hires within four years. It also focuses on strengthening security on the border.

Since this is a topic that affects everyone, we asked some locals their feelings about it.

Hayley Morris of Monongalia County said, "Well, if they're already here, that means that they came over illegally.  And if they get a job here, that's an under the table job.  And if they're here illegally, they don't have to pay taxes, and I just think that's wrong."

Yet some feel that if all the necessary steps are taken to becoming a legal citizen, there's not really a problem with it.

"I don't necessarily agree with it, but as long as they pay taxes and take the National Citizenship Test, I think it would be okay.  But, show some type of support to our country," said Jessica Moore of Monongalia County.

John Sullivan of Marion County said, "I think a lot of those folks will work jobs that American kids won't go near, and it's work that obviously needs to be done."

Karen Cunningham of Marion County said, "It has pros and cons.  I don't like the fact that they're here illegally.  But, it would be good if they become citizens and pay taxes.  It's a double-edged sword, but I can see both sides of it."

Obama still says he wants to support a bipartisan effort to come up with an immigration plan.

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