Jansing and Co | March 20, 2013
>>> senate judiciary committee will hear arguments on immigration reform . now, the urgency is clearly there, but the path to change isn't necessarily. the latest example, rand paul just yesterday called for comprehensive change before a crowd of hispanic business leaders. but he never used the word citizenship and says a secure border has to come first. behind the scenes right now, some senators are working on provisions for a path to citizenship. what does it all mean? joining me to talk about what that path could look like, nbc latino contributor raul reyes . it's good to see you.
>> good morning.
>> can we talk about rand paul first? because immediately his office pushes back on the whole idea of citizenship. but did you hear something that suggested to you that he's having a change of heart? that could, in fact, be influential with other conservatives?
>> yes, absolutely. and i think, i would venture to say that maybe we've reached a tipping point. in broad strokes, it's complicated. you know, he -- first he says he's in favor of path to citizenship but doesn't want to use the words, but he is speaking about it. but that in itself, that is tremendous because look at who he is, you know, he won the cpac poll, he's a likely 2016 candidate. he represents the tea party . for him to be publicly giving himself this kind of political makeover, that's unprecedented and shows we've reached a point where virtually every major republican figure is on board for comprehensive reform. it's huge.
>> you have a pragmatic reason for a lot of the republicans -- latinos make up 10% of the electorate they favor president obama , 71% to 27%, and then, you know, the rnc put out this autopsy on the election.
>> and it clearly states, quote, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform . if we do not, our party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. does it matter if it's pragmatism or not? whether they really want it or not.
>> i'm not sure how much it matters. the important thing is it's happening. and especially for the young people , the dreamers, for so many people who have been struggling and looking for a way to be part of this country, it does matter. and for the republicans, it's not just a question of, say, political survival, there really is a tremendous potential for rewards for them. because polling by latino decisions shows that about 1/3 of latinos would be open to a republican candidate if the gop supports immigration reform . so there's a big benefit for them there. but looking at comprehensive reform, one thing to remember when rand paul and other leaders talk about people going to the back of the line or not wanting to create a special path. what we're doing as we talk about immigration reform , comprehensive reform, that is creating the path, that is making the line, because right now there isn't one. that's what we have --
>> i guess the complication is what will that path look like? and how many sort of requirements will there be along the way? we've got the bipartisan group of senators who are working on something. they say they're on track to unveil something, maybe the end of this month, early april. what do you think that might look like?
>> i think right now what the senate is favoring ten-year wait for naturalization before you can apply -- three years for citizenship while the white house , they have -- in the leaked report they favored 8-5, either way , you're looking at about 13-year period, which is considerable and the polling among latinos from latino decisions shows that latinos want a waiting period of -- and this is voters. they want a waiting period of roughly five years. so there are many parameters to be worked out here. but the fact is that conservatives are coalescing around this issue, it seems to be happening and the momentum is there. that's tremendous for our community and for the country, for this issue. it's a big deal .
>> raul reyes , thanks for coming in. always good to see you here.