The Cycle | March 07, 2013
>>> push for immigration reform is getting help from an unlikely place. the religious right and the new support has the potential to dramatically change the debate. christian conservatives who in the past stayed out of the fray or completely opposed reform privately urging lawmakers to make it work and advocating for change even from the pulpit. our next guest is a high profile leader in the christian community and says it comes to family values . i think krystal wants to lead the way so take it off, miss ball.
>> i want you to weigh in on where you are in this debate. we have a couple of proposals. is it path to citizenship? is it path to legalization? and also, does your position on immigration reform , does that represent a change of heart or is this a position you have always held and are just sort of coming out more strongly in support of now?
>> it's not a position that's been a recent change for me. i'm working with a number of leaders, both on the plitd call and other church and pastors and organizational leaders for five years on this issue. more and more people starting to come on board and i'm pleased to see that. i believe a pathway to citizenship is important. i think it's very important when you look at 12 million stories of individuals who are here for one reason or another. some of them have been born as young individuals in countries and they have been here for all of their lives. they consider themselves americans . they love america. they don't know their mother country . they don't maybe speak the language. for us to say that you can come out of the shadows but you don't have an opportunity to become a citizen really is the wrong message and i think it's against and contrary to our values. it's against our history as a country. that has had open arms for the immigrants. all of us at one time or another have essentially an immigrant background and i think what we're seeing is a good crescendo of movement and we have a lot further to go, however. not everyone is convinced an enwhat we're doing is continuing to work with pastors, church leaders, organizational leaders with constituencies around the country and with members of congress and very pleased with the progress that we're beginning to see.
>> yeah. i want to get in to the politics of this for the conservative movement and for the republican party . you wrote, just after the november election, you tried to explain it by saying that millions of americans looked evil in the eye and adopted it and that abortion same-sex marriage and immorality carried the day. i just wonder in your explanation of the election is there room for the republicans just messed up on immigration?
>> well, i think certainly republicans have a number of good issues on the issue of life and marriage an i strongly believe that those are family values . but i believe and there's a number of them that have gotten it right and advocated over the years on this issue but some of them have gotten it wrong and i think that's an issue to address that with. i think some people have had a sea change after the november 2012 election. that didn't cause me to have a change of position. it just simply confirmed what i already believe is true. both from a biblical standpoint and practical standpoint and a moral and family position, as well. i think what we have to do with some republican leaders and frankly both people on both sides of the aisle have used this as a political ping-pong. democrats and republicans alike used it that way and i want to be able to try to transcend this political morass. this is in the best interest of us as citizens and americans and with regards to the republicans, one of the things that i think if you go back and to 2004 , george w. bush was a strong advocate for immigration reform . before that, ronald reagan was a strong advocate for immigration reform . what we have seen, however, is some people maybe they may talking heads on political areas or --
>> we can't stand those kind of people.
>> a wrong message. and, well, you know, some people have just used the immigration word as a political wedge and i think it's wrong. some people have used the so-called "a" word amnesty and labeled anything that doesn't have complete deportation which is frankly impossible if you do the numbers as amnesty and shuts down rational debate so what we're trying to do is deal with rational discussion, how do we deal with this from a rational, moral and a practical standpoint? and i think the best way forward is to give opportunity to those illegal or undocumented immigrants living in the shadows to come out and participate in the american dream . i think that has to include a pathway for citizenship.
>> not special treatment but a pathway for citizenship.
>> i appreciate what you're saying. i know what you mean with you say all of us are immigrants but we don't have an immigrant background. that's a conversation for another day. i think what's been said by the right, not people like yourself, but others, has been so attacking and so demonizing of hispanic americans , immigrants and nonimmigrants, all of them that perhaps they're so far gone and so hurt and so insulted that they cannot be won over. they can't find the forgiveness you perhaps teach. do you think that that might be too far gone?
>> i don't think it's too far gone but i think there's going to be a lot of work. if you go back to the republican and democratic primaries and look back at say the second debate of the second town hall with mitt romney and president obama , remember the lady, the latino lady on the front row ? she stood up and asked the question of mitt romney , what's your plan to deal with the 12 million unyou can domented? his response was, we're in favor of legal immigration. that's a no-brainer and then went back to president obama . i looked at my wife and i said, he just lost the hispanic vote. he showed he didn't care about this issue or wasn't informed so i think there's a lot of work to be done. i don't think it's too late to ultimately repair some of those problems that have developed in the past and it's a pathway that we need to move forward and embrace the future. this is the right path to move forward with this immigration issue.
>> okay. matthew staver, thank you for joining us.
>>> straight ahead, one of the most successful business woman of all time is on a mission to reboot feminism encouraging women to just lean in. so why's our resident feminist not impressed? stay tuned and