Immigration bill could exclude many illegally in the U.S. from ever becoming citizens

WASHINGTON (AP) - Bipartisan immigration legislation in the Senate could exclude hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. illegally from ever becoming citizens.

That's according to a Senate aide with knowledge of the proposals expected to be made public next week.

According to the aide, the legislation would only allow people in the country prior to Dec. 31, 2011, to apply for legal status and ultimately citizenship.

It also would require applicants to document they've been in the country before that date, have a clean criminal record and show some level of employment or financial stability.

The aide said those requirements could end up excluding hundreds of thousands.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

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