msnbc | February 12, 2013
>> joining us from san antonio , texas, the mayor of san antonio . mayor castro, thank you for joining us.
>> let me ask you about the word comprehensive. we have all been if through watching the attempt by the government to reform immigration back in the '80s under reagan. what stopped it from being affected is that it was never enforced. it really wasn't given any credit. when we say the phrase, comprehensive, what does that mean to you?
>> what it means is that it has at least three things, first, that it will continue to enhance the security of our borders, even though as president obama has pointed out, that has been enhanced tremendously over the past few years. secondly, when an employer hire someone, they can no that person is here legally. they will be held accountable. fired, and this is the part of that is at issue here, that we do something positive to put the 11 million folks who are undocumented on a pathway to citizenship after they have paid a fine, paid back taxes, learned english and gone to the back of the line.
>> what will be the toughest part of that to win?
>> oh, there's no question the toughest part is the issue of a pathway to citizenship. unfortunately it seems as though what some of the house republicans want is to create a permanent subclass of folks who would not be citizens, maybe not even lawful, permanent residents . i thought that the ending of president obama 's speech in calling the country together but also using the word citizen and saying that is what we are made of and we are, that has a lot of resonance as debate comprehensive reform.
>> those opposing a full pass way to citizenship, they don't like voting?
>> well probably some of the folks who are absolutely opposed to citizenship, that's at the top of their mind, sure. i agree with that.
>> what is your bet right now? based on what the president said tonight i think we will have less troops in afghanistan. that will be real. he is completely in charge of that. immigration looks to me like a great prospect for this year, the great hope. republicans want the issue behind them because it has hurt them at the polls. tissues -- democrats believe in the issue. the unions, i have never understood their position on this. do you think it will ever get done?
>> i believe that it will get done. i believe that the republican party knows that if it doesn't get done that what they saw in 2012 will happen again in 2014 , 2016 and beyond that. as i said last week when i testified in front of the house judiciary committee , america is watching these legislators on this boat.
>> thank you very much, mayor castro, from san antonio .