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Congress Debates Immigration Reform

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WASHINGTON D.C. -

A new bipartisan bill is designed to overhaul the U.S. immigration system. The legislation would give millions of illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens. But critics claim the plan is just amnesty. 

A Senate team - equally split between Democrats and Republicans - is introducing legislation that would give 11 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. The bill would allow illegal immigrants to live here legally if they pass a background check. But they would be barred from benefits like welfare or healthcare. After 13 years they could seek citizenship after they pay more than 2-thousand dollars in fines in fees.  The bill says those steps can only take place after billions are spent to secure the border. The legislation has bipartisan support here on Capitol Hill but there are also plenty of critics. Opponents say the plan would give amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants and take away jobs from Americans. The legislation would bring the most extensive changes to immigration law in 25 years. Senators will begin hearings later this week.