Mitchell Reports | March 19, 2013
>>> a bipartisan compromise on immigration reform could take shape in the senate over the next few weeks. so far, this week, a path to legal status has been supported by the republican national committee . and even senator rand paul. the house gop leadership hasn't quite jumped on board. instead, they're waiting for the senate to take the lead. congressman joaquin castro , democrat of texas joins us now, someone who is very much involved with immigration reform . thank you so much for being on the show.
>> thanks for having me, luke.
>> congressman castro, i want to ask you one thing that we often hear from republicans is when they say that they will become supportive of immigration reform , they have a real emphasis on border security . that the border must be secure. that they can go to bed at night knowing that there's no worry of a huge influx of illegal immigrants running over any specific time. as a democrat that works in these issues, ha can you say to them would sort of be the barometer for that the border is secure? where will democrats move up to on that point?
>> well, first, certainly border security is an important part of any kind of deal that we're going to have. but i think that we have to start by acknowledging that the border is more secure now than it's ever been in the last four decades or so. and that this president has committed more resources to securing the border than any president in american history . and there's been a reluctance among many republicans to even acknowledge those facts. so if we are going to talk about doing this in any kind of phases or hooking it up to border security , which i don't know is the best thing to do, but if it goes that way, we've got to make sure that the measurements are objective measurements. whether it's the numb of border patrol agents, the number of apprehensions, whatever it is. we can't leave those things as subjective measures, because then what we'll end up doing is coming back and arguing over the same issues five or six years from now, never reaching a resolution.
>> how speaker john boehner said this today -- about immigration reform --
>> this is just the beginning of the process. there's a lot of education that needs to be done. because more than half of our members have never dealt with the issue of immigration reform . both on a legal side and on the illegal side. so there's, there's a lot of education that needs to go on.
>> how, half the house gop conference needs to be educated on the issue, according to the speaker. we know the senate is going to put legislation on the floor come april. are you confident in the ability of the house to get something done in a bipartisan manner by the end of the spring?
>> there's some promising signs. that's group of eight members of the house of representatives , a bipartisan group, that are working on their compromise. and that looks like it's fruitful. and the common denominator is a path to citizenship. and i think if we both chambers get on the same page, then i think we can get something done in 2013 . so it looks hopeful, i do think that the senate will end up acting first that it will pass something then. i think speaker boehner will have to bring some kind of bill to the floor that will take a vote on it an overwhelming majority of democrats will support it and probably 40% of the republican caucus hopefully more, will support it and we'll pass an immigration bill .
>> is there a worry amongst you or any of the more progressive members of the house democratic caucus , that any immigration reform bill that is a bipartisan one, will have to be watered down to get through the house? they're worried that the president wants it so much for his legacy that he's willing to take a deal that perhaps is not the best one for democrats?
>> i mean i think you know, on our side, i think we are reasonable. and we accept that we're not going to get our perfect version of this bill. but we're still going to do tough negotiation. so certainly there are concerns in different quarters about what it will look like in the end. and we're not anywhere near that yet. but we're going to be reasonable, we're going to negotiate tough. but in the end, we want to make this happen.
>> joaquin castro , representative from texas , we thank you so much. we appreciate it. i want to talk to you about purple state texas sometime. we'll do it on the next show, take care.
>> absolutely. thanks.