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Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and other Hispanic politicians tell Univison's Jorge Ramos they feel positive about prospects of immigration reform in Congress

"Si se puede." (Yes, we can)

That seemed the message from a quartet of prominent Hispanic lawmakers - Republican and Democrats alike - who expressed confidence that Congress is ready to approve a comprehensive immigration plan -- and soon.

Appearing Sunday morning on Univision's Al Punto show hosted by longtime Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, the four seemed to think there's enough momentum to get some kind of agreement on the contentious issue.

"This is the first time I've been optimistic in my 20 years here," said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, who is among the Gang of Eight senators putting the finishing touches on an immigration bill that could be unveiled as early as Tuesday.
When Ramos asked if this is the year of reform, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, was a little more cautious but also seemed upbeat.
"I can't promise that because it's not only in my hand," he said. "I ask for your prayers. There's a lot of disinformation [about the bill]."
Rubio said the Senate package included strict border security measures and a nationwide verification system for employers to make hit harder to hire undocumented.

He also added that "this plan will not give amnesty to the whole world"

Also appearing on the show were Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican, and Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat. Both men are working with a small group of legislators in the House to hatch an immigration bill.

Diaz-Balart said the group is just "weeks" away from introducing their plan to overhaul the nation's broken immigration system.
When pressed about the long wait undocumented immigrants would have to wait to become U.S. citizens -- the Senate bill stipulates about 13 years -- Guitierrez stressed that the lengthy wait is missing a much more important issue: the nation's 11 million undocumented would be able to legally remain in the country.

"Eleven million people will not have to live in fear or in terror of being deported," Guitierrez said.

In responding to a question about whether his fellow Republicans -- many of whom remain opposed to any immigration plan that grants legal residency to undocumented immigrants -- Diaz-Balart said that there's no doubt the bill would face strong opposition in the House.

"It won't be easy, but I'm very optimistic precisely because of the work of our small bipartisan group," he said. "I think we have found a solution in the [politicial] center that resolves the problem and has the 218 votes."

On CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Rubio said he was hopeful his congressional colleagues and the American public agrees with their approach to what he says is a national problem years in the making. The show airs at noon.

"Look, I am not happy.  I am not pleased with, I am not in support of the reality that we have 10 million or 11 million people in this country that are undocumented.  I wish we didn't have that problem.  

"Quite frankly, the decisions that led that problem were made when I was in 9th grade.  But we do have that problem.  We're not talking about bringing in 11 million people undocumented; they are here now.  

"And we have four choices:  we can leave it the way it is, which is de facto amnesty; we can try to round everybody up and send them back, which I don't think is workable; we can make life miserable for them, which -- and so that they'll deport themselves -- I don't think that works either; or we can try to address it in a way that's responsible but humane, in a way that isn't unfair to the people that are doing it the right way and doesn't encourage people to do it the wrong way in the future.  

"And that's what I think we've arrived at.  And I hope I can convince people that this is the right approach."

 

- Sergio Bustos (Herald State/Politics Editor)

Comments

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Robert Jenkins

"This is not Amnesty", says Sen. Rubio!!! Hmmmm? Remember "His" Parents fled Cuba under gun fire to give Marco and his family a better life? He had to change his story "after" his election of course!!! His amended Tax returns as well; Hmmmmm? His "accidental double billing of "comped air fares for him and his Wife? Yes Sen. Marco; "I" believe you now? Come on man!!! Will you wait to near election time to "Change" yet another tale you tell? Would anyone here buy a used car from this man? Nooooot Me!!!!

Truth

We have an estimated 11 million illegal aliens in this country. Is that just men or men and women? Does it include their children? I am a Pediatric Provider in southern Florida. Our practice now has more illegal aliens on medicaid than it has good paying private insurers. Each family has at least 3 children and the mother is usually pregnant with another child. Our hard worked for tax dollars are supporting these children born to these illegal parents, the mothers who for the most part do not speak English nor read English and after seeing these families for several years now, these women have no desire to learn English. We are paying for these million of illegal childrens' prenatal pregnancy care for 9 months, their labor and delivery, their food stamps, their WIC formula and food, their daycare expenses at VPK's; we are paying for their free school breakfasts and lunches everyday for 18 years. I do not want my hard worked for, earned tax payer dollars going to pay for multiple children of illegal aliens. I want my hard earned tax payer dollars to go toward national defense to keep illegals out of my country. I want my hard earned tax payer dollars going toward drilling for oil in this country so we don't have to buy gas and pay top dollar for gas from our enemies in foreign countries and to provide badly needed jobs in this country. I want my tax payer dollars to go toward job creation for American citizens not 11 million plus illegal aliens that will be taking jobs away from American citizens who want to work and get off of unemployment and do not have an entitlement mentallity as the illegal aliens do. I don't want my hard earned tax payer dollar going toward Pell grants and the like to pay for illegal children going to college while American citizen students can't afford college and are having to drop out or when they get out have no job to go to. Illegals have raped our health care system. They demand I write prescriptions for Tylenol so they don't have to pay for it. Their kids teeth are so bad because they do not know about preventive health such as brushing their teeth twice a day. And their illegal kids have dental carries that we are paying for dental care and dental operations that cost us tax payers millions of dollars annualy. Why should I pay for an illegal kids health and teeth care when I can't even afford my health insurance every month? A law is a law, these people chose on their own to come here illegally, break the law and cross our borders. Send them back and have them apply like any other law abiding citizen from another country has to in order to get into our country legally. No one forced them to come to the United States of America. They chose to come across our borders illegally and they knew they were violating our laws to do so. We tax payers should not have to pay for their choice to enter our country illegally. They are here illegally and need to be deported back. They have raped our health care system, they use the Emergency room as a private Physician office. They see their Medicaid provided for physician and then if they don't like his answer they go to the Emergency room to hear and get the same care repeated but the 6 x the cost. Senators open your eyes, get out of Washington and visit local doctor offices, visit local schools listen to your constituents who aren't illegal. This is our country, our fathers and sons and daughers and mothers have fought for this country and died for it. Why are you forsaking it for illegals?

Javier Alvarez

Does anyone know Rick Scott's immigration plan? I think he is avoiding the issue but it is bad on his part. We don't like it.

naplesbob

Truth,
So stop treating those that you know are undocumented. How many Cuban's are under your care under the "same" circumstances as are the undocumented you speak of? OOOOH wait that's some how different?Give me a break You P.O.S.!!!

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