The Cycle | January 29, 2013
>>> yes, they broke the rules. they crossed the border illegally. maybe they overstayed their visas. those are the facts. nobody disputes them. but these 11 million men and women are now here. today i am laying out my ideas for immigration reform , and my hope is that this provides son-in-law key markers to members of congress. if congress is you be able to move forward in a timely fashion, i will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. [ cheers and applause ]
>> we're back with more on the president's immigration proposal. raul , part of this is what's going on in mexico , a very difficult place to live for many people economically. the crime rate there is very difficult as well. do we also need to do something to help mexico to make that a better place for people to live so that so many people won't be dying to come here?
>> actually in fact right now the mexican economy has been strengthening and my certain measurements their economy is actually in terms of growth doing better than ours which is in part one of the reasons why illegal immigration has slowed and at the same time simultaneously the birth rate in mexico has also dropped. so there are some factors already in play that may help that come about naturally, but i do think, yes, long term we need to be thinking about that. but right now i think our focus should be on working with our own system and fixing it.
>> so janel , we have seen the senate proposal, heard what obama had to say today. we know that a lot of house republican leaders want to move this thing along. we also know from history that there's going to be an awful lot of resistant from sort of the house. try to project this out for us. are you optimistic that something meaningful is ultimately going to come of this?
>> i would say that will trust my sources and what people are telling me is that it's quite likely that there will be a very narrow margin of victory for this legislation, that there will be somehow a coalition of republicans who are very business-friendly, those who are a bit more moderate, and democrats can come together and pass this thing out of the house. i think the senate looks a lot more certain. that said, you know, the dream act when it failed in 2010 failed by just the narrowest margins, so anything is possible.
>> and, janel , i think that a lot of people want to see also in whatever plan is implemented ways that incentivize legal immigration, that make legally immigrating easier -- not easy, but easier than illegally immigrated. so it's not just addressing what we do with illegal immigrants . it's what we do to make legal immigration more incentivized. what have you heard coming out of either the house working group plan, the senate plan, president obama 's plan, that looks to address that hole?
>> i think there is some discussion certainly about just, as you said, facing sort of the realities of the way that our actual legal immigration system works. i think that raul made an extremely important point that really has to be reinforced right now. if you live in mexico and you want to come to this country legally, that is a nearly 20-year process. it is part of what makes the system dysfunctional. so i think certainly i think there are some people who are pushing very hard for increased resources for the agencies that control immigration. uscis, et cetera , that just process the applications, do those background checks. i also think that there are some real discussions that are happening right now about the possibility of creating more visas. it is worth noting that right now every year the united states makes available 120,000 visas for adults who would like to come to this country to live and work. that may sound like a relatively large figure but when you really think about that, 120,000 visas for the entire country each year. so, you know, certainly i think that's going to be a focus area in terms of gist the shejust the sheer number of visas that are issued.
>> raul , give us some of your personal reflections on the president's speech today.
>> i thought he hit all the right notes. when he talked about erasing the divide between them and us. he talked about the undocumented being americans except they don't have the papers. that's the language that dreamers used. now it's bm mainstream. he also threw down a challenge saying if they -- if the senate cannot get their bill passed, he will introduce his own. so that's a challenge. game on.
>> raul reyes , janel ross, thanks for being here this hour. we're back with more after