Undocumented immigrants could get an eight-year pathway to citizenship under a plan that President Obama is reportedly drafting. The details were leaked to USA Today. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) immediately said the plan would be "dead on arrival." Rubio’s fellow Republicans were not impressed either. This morning, fmr. Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL) and Fmr. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) join “Starting Point” to discuss Obama's leaked immigration plan.
Mack says “we should see what the president’s ideas are on [immigration].” He adds that Republicans have been seeking the president’s plan on “a whole host of things, so I’m all for a robust debate on this.”
“Bipartisanship takes trust from both sides,” says Bono Mack. “There is no trust in Washington D.C. any longer from either side,” she adds. The former California Congresswoman says that if there ever was any issue that everybody should come together on it should be immigration.
Mack says “you can’t get to a solution if you don’t put everything out on the table.”
"Instead of floating [the plan] or having this leak [the president] should have came to the American people …and done a press conference and talked about it,” Mack says. In addition to the Obama’s plan, a gang of eight Democratic and Republican senators have said they plan to release a draft version of a bill on immigration next month. Mack says the multiple plans are “a good place to be.”
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) on the GOP resistance to the leaked White House immigration plan.
Fmr. Congress Reps. Connie Mack & Mary Bono Mack weigh in on President Obama's immigration proposal.
President Obama laid out his plan to fix immigration at a stop in a majority Hispanic high school in Las Vegas yesterday, offering his support for many of the ideas laid out by the Senate's "Gang of Eight" in a bipartisan reform proposal.
On Starting Point this morning, Senator Bill Nelson calls the president's plan "right on track" and says that there's "very little difference" between the two proposals.
However, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who has been instrumental in crafting the Senate's plan, issued a warning to Obama yesterday, insisting that he's "not going to be part of a bidding war to see who can come up with the most lenient path forward."
When asked about this statement, Nelson, a Florida Democrat, urges Soledad to "give [Rubio] a break."
"I think he’s going to give a lot of cover to the Republicans who otherwise would choke on this," Nelson says.
One of the most famous economists in the world, and a leading liberal voice in the media, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is also the author of “End This Depression Now” out now in paperback. He joins the "Starting Point" team this morning to weigh in on proposed immigration reform.
He also discusses what it will take to strengthen the U.S. economy, and debates Rep. Marsha Blackburn on the elements that are holding the country back from growth.
Transcript available after the video.
This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) weighs in on the various plans for comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. that have been released this week.
"What we want to make certain is that it is not amnesty," Rep. Blackburn says. "I have to tell you I think this is some of the particulars and the legislative language that people want to see. Because one of the lessons we have learned from decades past, decades, they have tried to address this issue, over the decades. It doesn't matter if it was Clinton or if it was Reagan, what we've learned is, if you grant amnesty, what do you get, more amnesty."
"Let's make certain it's going to be fair. Let's make certain that we're not doing something that is going to put even more pressure on the Obama care system and on the Medicaid system that we have," she adds.
This morning on "Starting Point," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate's 'Gang of 8,' weighs in on the bipartisan plan put forth for immigration reform.
"I think Senator McCain would say we've acknowledged that we've made tremendous progress," Sen Menendez says. "The question is, how do we use additional technology to enhance our border security? How do we amass the resources we have with border patrol, customs and others to the entry/exit points that are critical both for the border security, as well as for the commerce, along the border states?"
"We believe that there can be specific, substantive items that can be achieved, and that's what we'll work towards in the legislation. If I believed that, at the end of the day, this would just be a process for a veto towards achieving a pathway to citizenship, I would not have signed on to the principles. I think this is an important part of it and it will not be an impediment to achieving our goal of a pathway to citizenship," he adds.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the Senate's 'gang of 8' bipartisan plan for immigration reform.
Today, the Senate's 'group of eight,' including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will reportedly unveil their proposal to reform our nation's immigration system. This plan comes a day before President Obama announces his own immigration proposal in Las Vegas.
The plan includes items such as a pathway to citizenship provided that our borders are secured, reforming the current system to attract the best and brightest from other countries and creating an effective employment verification system. The proposal will also discuss improving the process for admitting workers in the future.
This morning Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) speak to Soledad O’Brien to discuss the proposal.
Rep. Gutierrez says during his immigration reform meeting on Friday, the president said he is going to make immigration reform his top priority. He says the one sticking point may be the road to citizenship, but he thinks “we’re going to be able to overcome it because...there’s a real urgency to this matter.”
"In the end [undocumented immigrants] are going to become American citizens one way or another. It’s a question is when it’s going to be,” he adds. Gutierrez says he wants the undocumented to integrate themselves, make a commitment and to have to fulfill all the responsibilities that American citizens are required to do fulfill.
Rep. Diaz-Balart says he and his colleagues have been hammering out their differences and the details on immigration reform for years and “what has to be fixed...is rather extensive.”
“All of it is broken and all of it has to be fixed. It’s been a very difficult process,” Rep. Diaz-Balart says.
The Florida congressman says he is however proud of the work he and his colleagues have done and that they have “been able to do it quietly, seriously...to try to solve this broken problem.”
Between 800,000 and 900,000 people are expected to crowd onto the National Mall today to watch President Obama recite the oath of office, a day after formally beginning his second term.
According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, 54% of Americans have above average expectations for the president's second term, whereas 41% describe their outlook as poor or below average.
One of the key issues Obama has said that he hopes to address in his second term is immigration, and Sen. John Barrasso talks with John King on Starting Point this morning about the GOP's willingness to tackle the important issue.