The Ed Show | February 06, 2013
>>> welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for staying with us tonight. marco rubio has been picked by republicans to deliver the republican response to the president's state of the union address next tuesday. for rubio , being selected to give the speech is the only endorsement he has gotten from the republican friends lately. you can say senator rubio is the unofficial immigration czar for the republican party . as we've told you, rubio joins some of the nation's most powerful senators last week to outline an immigration reform plan. senator rubio is making the media rounds. he even did this interview at a bar in washington, d.c. last night. he sipped water instead of beer, and lowered expectations for reform.
>> i know there is a lot of optimism about the announcement last week of some principles. but i think reality has begun to set in as to how difficult it's going to be to accomplish, not just in the house, but potentially in the senate.
>> rubio could be wrong about the senate. his fellow republicans in the house could make reform a lot more difficult. remember, rubio helped present the reform plan last week. it's not even a bill. it's just an outline. but house majority leader eric cantor and john boehner refused to endorse the plan, even when they were asked directly about it.
>> i want to do everything i can to foster this continuing conversation in a bipartisan fashion to deal with what is a very difficult issue in our country. but, you know, it's certainly worthy of conversation.
>> really? it's nice to hear john boehner call immigration reform worthy of consideration. maybe boehner and cantor don't want to pick sides in the debate over citizenship. but exit polling showed it was a key issue for voters. the latino vote helped president obama win reelection. and today a poll shows 55% of americans support legislation that creates some kind of path to citizenship. americans are ready for reform. it looks like republicans led by marco rubio are still playing games.
>>> joining me tonight, los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa . he is with us this evening on "the ed show." mayor, great to have you with us. i appreciate your time.
>> great to be with you, ed.
>> is marco rubio is a good leader for the republicans on immigration reform in your opinion?
>> well, let me say that i'm heartened that over time he's said that he agrees that we need a comprehensive approach to immigration reform and not just a piecemeal approach. i'm also heartened that they haven't -- that speaker boehner and mr. cantor haven't rejected it out of hand. i'm not surprised by that i do believe there is momentum in the senate, and i think there will be support in the house to move comprehensive immigration reform ahead. i have said, and many of us believe that it has to include a pathway for citizenship for the 11 million undocumented, not just for the dreamers, that it has to be earned, of course. you have to get at the end of the line and have a criminal background check, learn english, pay back your tax. but it can't be unattainable. it can't be so long that it's unattainable.
>> well, mayor, senator rubio is proposing a path that i actually think creates a new class system of workers in this country. rubio 's plan would let businesses hire lower skilled undocumented workers if americans can't fill the job openings. that's very conditional in my opinion. it's a loophole in the immigration law . it means lower skilled immigrants get a different kind of status. do you agree this plan? is this the correct path to take?
>> well, as i said, i believe that there needs to be a path to earn legalization, to earn citizenship for the 11 million people who are here.
>> regardless of their skills, correct?
>> right. we don't want to divide the parents from the kids. we don't want to deport the parents and leave the kids here. remember, those 11 million undocumented have 5 million citizen children and a couple million dreamers. so i think that there is momentum in the senate and increasingly in the house. we've got a lot of work to do. it's going to be an arduous path ahead. but this piecemeal approach, i agree with you, it's unacceptable. second class citizenship is not acceptable in the united states of america . less than status will not be acceptable. there will probably be an ag jobs component to it. this has to be a compromise in the end. we have to have smart, not just tough border enforcement. let me say something about that. because i've heard a lot of talk that we got to toughen the border. according to the migration policy institute , we have a net minus and flow backwards, not to the united states . so the idea that we have to increase the budget for border enforcement when we already spend 20% more than the entire budget for the fbi, the dea, and the atf really kind of misses the point here. we got a net migration flow the other way.
>> mayor, great to have you with us tonight. you're a great resource on this story, no question about it. and i appreciate your time here on "the ed show." thank you so much.
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