The Daily Rundown | February 05, 2013
>>> we're going to move forward because the country supports it, because latinos demand it and because democrats want it and because republicans need it.
>> florida democratic congressman joe garcia just doesn't talk about the immigration debate . he's lived it and now has a chance to be an influential voice on how congress must move forward on immigration reform . as the son of cuban exile he's spent his entire life in florida , his dad washed cars and mom waited tables before starting their own business that put their son through school. at 25-year-old he was tapped to lead the cuban- americans national foundation exodus problem helping resettle cuban exile in the states and in the '90s served as the first hispanic chairman of the public service commission . garcia later returned to the cuban-american foundation as executive director and in 2006 gave politics his first attention. he lost for the first time in-to- mario diaz -balart and after taking a position in the energy position he ran in garcia and that ended in defeat to david rivera but he got a second chance against rivera in fall and survived what was really a nasty campaign and ended up winning big by ten points, joining me now, the new congressman from that area, congressman joe garcia . he's a new member of the judiciary committee 's subcommittee on immigration. congressman garcia , it's a -- it's a long string, big shoes when i grew up. we had dante fisell in that seat for years and careers.
>> my high school history teacher, which i got to honor on the floor of the house this week, also our close-up guide, made me work for dante fisell and i stuffed envelopes for him. he's a great man and represented most of the district i represent today so obviously very big shoes to try to fill.
>> he is. let me start with immigration here. you're obviously -- yesterday there was a biglous hearing on this. what is the house bill going to look like and do you get the sense that house republicans are waiting for the senate to act or they want to have their own bill and move it simultaneously with what the senate is trying to do.
>> look, they have come a long way, and for guys who don't believe in evolution, this is really good. they have evolved, but i think this is important. got to find a pathway forward but that's the sticking point. they are stuck on this. this whole idea of a longer period or a second class citizenship is just against the very concepts of our nation. i mean, if you read the declaration of independence , one of areas where there's a sort of railing, the statements against the king, one was about indentured servitude, that vial state that kept you working and didn't give you a way forward in the society. the civil war again about second class citizens. the civil rights struggle was about people who were less than fully americans because they weren't able to enjoy those great civil rights , so i think it's a mistake for republicans to go that way, but i do want to commend colleagues of mine from south florida like illeana ross and mario diaz -balart who are working with some republican brethren. don't need them all, but we need a gnu few to understand that this is something that america does better than any other country in the world and that is take people and make them americans .
>> there was some talk yesterday, you've heard some house republicans float the idea of -- of not having a path to citizenship for everybody of the 11 million undocumented workers, but have a path to legal residency but not give them a path to citizenship, sort of this i guess putting an added hurdle as a compromise. what did you make of that proposal?
>> type "b" and type "a." the ones that get taxed that don't get representation, the ones that have all the responsibilities but non-of the great benefits of being a citizen. look, this is precisely where we make a mistake. if you look at failed immigration systems, you look at the german system, you look at the french system, where people are -- don't become french. they don't become german. they are turks who live in germany or muslims that live in paris , the reality is we need full americans . these folks work hard and take care of our children. they pick our fields. they work in the most difficult jobs, and what we need to do is make them pay their back taxes and make them learn english and get them in the back of the line and at the end they get the great benefit, bounty and responsibility of being a u.s. citizen .
>> very quickly and i want to move on to another issue before i let you go. is our time line before the fourth of july, or is this going to bleed into the fall?
>> well, that's up to republicans. clearly democrats are working. senate folks like chuck schumer have done a magnificent job. again, marco rubio , i commend him, he's also on my state. he's moved greatly. i want to congratulate him. i think the senate is pretty close to having something very comprehensive. i don't see that willingness in my colleagues on the house side. hopefully we'll get something out. my hope is by the middle of the summer we'll have something for the president to sign.
>> do you think that by the end of obama's second term there will be open travel, open borders between the united states and cuba?
>> i don't know. i -- i don't think so. i think there's a lot of things that we need to fix, but what i do think is the president's policy on cuba makes sense. more people-to-people contact. it's a smart thing. it's helping develop the civil society that somehow the communist government is now in favor. well, look, when you're enemy is heading in the right direction you tend to help them along those lines. more civil society programs, mow free enterprise and more contacts with their fellow brethren in miami, that's good for the long term and an investment in america's long-term relationship with the cuban people , not the cuban government .
>> joe garcia , democratic congressman, new democratic congressman from florida 's 26th district , southern part of dade county , all of the keys. i know if i were you, i would only open my offices in the keys, key largo , key west .
>> opened the first key west office. we're enjoying it.
>> thanks for coming often welcome