The 11 million illegal immigrants living in the US will be entitled to future citizenship regardless of nationality but first must undergo background checks and ensure their taxes are up to date, the White House has said.

Providing more details on President Barack Obama?s plan for a ?common sense? reform of US immigration, White House domestic policy director Cecilia Mu?oz said the administration was trying to resolve the problem of 11 million undocumented immigrants ?without respect to nationality?.

Paying taxes and ensuring that their tax affairs are ?up to date? has to be part of the legal process to put illegal immigrants on the road to becoming US citizens, said Ms Mu?oz. She acknowledged that the undocumented had to ?feel safe? to come forward and undergo background checks, and that the legalisation process had to be designed to ensure they were comfortable, otherwise the reforms would not work.

The president hopes a Bill will come before Congress within four to six weeks, she said, and he would introduce his own if a proposal offered by the cross-party group of senators became ?bogged down in the Senate?. House Republicans, meanwhile, are coming up with their own compromise immigration reform.

Source : By Simon Carswell / Irish Times

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