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From shadows to spotlight, Mario Diaz-Balart plays powerful role in immigration talks

@MarcACaputo

Mario Diaz-Balart spoke bluntly to his fellow U.S. House Republicans during a closed-door meeting at Washington’s Capitol Hill Club.

“Immigration is the 800-pound gorilla,” the Miami congressman told the room of vote-counting whips just seven days after last November’s election.

“The 800-pound gorilla just punched us in the face.”

Indeed, Hispanic voters had turned from Republicans in record numbers, in heavy measure because of the way the party’s candidates handled immigration.

But beyond the political numbers, Diaz-Balart said, the immigration policy data mattered even more.

About 11 million immigrants illegally live in the country. The system is broken. The time to fix it, he said, is during a non-election year.

“After I was done speaking, unlike in previous years, a huge number of my colleagues on the whip team came up to me to tell me it was time to do it,” Diaz-Balart told The Herald.

“What really changed,” he said, “was a willingness by many to confront the small handful of members who have been very vocal against doing anything, against doing anything realistic.”

That day, Nov. 13, marks not just a turning point in the immigration debate, but a significant moment in Diaz-Balart’s political career.

Today, the longtime lawmaker plays one of the most-crucial Washington roles in immigration that many have never heard about.

More here


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/20/3355230/from-shadows-to-spotlight-mario.html#storylink=cpy

Comments

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Juan Cerro

Rick Scott is a failure on immigration. It's obvious how little he cares about it. It will hurt his chances for reelection.

wigglwagon

Any proposed reform that does not include mandatory jail terms for employers of illegal aliens will be a complete failure just as the '86 Amnesty was a failure.

Every day that an illegal alien is allowed to work is another day that taxpayers are forced to support a law abiding family that was forced into unemployment and poverty when the illegals under bid the legal workers for jobs.

The penalty for employers of illegal workers should be mandatory $15,000 fine per illegal worker and mandatory 2 years in jail without parole per illegal worker. That and deportation of the illegal worker would put an immediate end to the problem.

That is ALL the reform we need.

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