Entries in Immigation (3)


Jeb Bush: I’m ‘In Sync’ with Lindsey Graham on Immigration Reform

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush told ABC’s This Week that he is “in sync” with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on the immigration reform issue. This following an incident on Monday when Bush said he disagreed with a key component of the plan.

Graham, a leading member of the bipartisan group of senators pushing for immigration reform, took Bush to task after the Bush said Monday that he did not support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, major part of the plan.

Bush repented on This Week and said he could in fact support a plan that included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the United States.

“Senator Graham and I talked,” Bush said. “I told him that I support his efforts and I applaud what he’s doing.

“The basic premise needs to be that coming to the country legally should be easier with less cost than coming to the country illegally.  And if you can create a system like that as is being discussed in the Senate and in the House– through a path to citizenship, that’s fine,” Bush said. “But my guess is that will take a long, long time to achieve.  In the interim, it’s important to take people out from the shadows to allow them to have– the dignity of being– having legal status.”

Florida governor Jeb Bush told me that he was “very encouraged” about the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform – a legislative achievement that has eluded lawmakers for more than a decade — becoming law by the end of the year.

“There are some big sticking points about how do you deal with making sure that there’s enough seasonal workers, temporary worker programs that have been quite successful in the past,” Bush said. “There’s a lot of work being done, really good work, courageous work, ’cause this is complex and may not be popular, but I think it’s– it is possible that comprehensive reform can be done.”

Bush also insisted that he is not positioning himself for a 2016 presidential run as he promotes his new book Immigration Wars, even as speculation grows that he aims to be the third member of the Bush family to occupy the oval office.

“I’m not viewing this as a political reentry either.  I just don’t view it that way,” Bush said. “Everything’s viewed with a political lens in Washington and that’s just the nature of the beast and it is what it is.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


House Holds Its First Hearing on Immigration Reform

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives on Tuesday will take its first concrete steps this year toward addressing comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that has traditionally failed to gain traction in the lower chamber.

Momentum toward overhauling the nation's immigration laws is at its highest in years, with President Obama and a group of bipartisan senators unveiling their plans last week.  Both contain a path to citizenship for many of the the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Those type of proposals are expected to face an upward climb in the Republican-controlled House.  GOP lawmakers have staunchly opposed a path to citizenship for years, dismissing it as "amnesty."  But there are also signs that the mood has shifted on immigration.  Many Republican leaders have called on their members to shift their tone on the issue after the November election, in which the GOP failed to attract enough Latino and immigrant voters to win at the presidential level.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on immigration reform Tuesday morning.  Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the judiciary panel and a long-time opponent of a path to citizenship, has said he is open to considering a wide range of proposals to reshape the immigration system, including the president's and the Senate's, but he's wary of plans that contain a broad path to citizenship.

"When [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] says there has to be a path to citizenship, I wonder whether he's serious about doing immigration reform," Goodlatte told USA Today on Monday.  "You have to come at this with a willingness to look at all the options and find the common ground."

Goodlatte, however, said that he would consider proposals that find a middle ground between a broad pathway to citizenship and mass deportation.  He expressed openness toward the plan put forth by the Senate, which would allow eligible undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent legal status only after the border is deemed secure.

"What the Senate is working on, we'll be interested in looking at," he said, adding that he wants real assurances on border security before considering any kind of legalization for undocumented immigrants.

Tuesday's hearing is only one sign that the House may be prepared to act on immigration reform.  A secret bipartisan group of congressmen, which has worked in parallel to a group of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, is reportedly close to reaching an agreement on comprehensive immigration reform, according to The Hill newspaper.

Republican leaders in the House have also remained open to addressing immigration reform, although they have been coy about how exactly they will handle the issue.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is expected to speak about his views on immigration and other issues in a speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday afternoon.

"While we are a nation that allows anyone to start anew, we are also a nation of laws, and that's what makes tackling the issue of immigration reform so difficult," he will say, according to excerpts provided by his office.  "We must balance respect for the rule of law and respect for those waiting to enter this country legally, with care for people and families, most of whom just want to make a better life, and contribute to America."

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Obama will meet with more than two dozen leaders from business, labor and immigration-advocacy groups at the White House during two separate meetings in part to discuss immigration reform.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden Knocks Romney for Binder Comment, '1950s Time Warp’ on Women

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(GREELEY, Colo.) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday hammered away at Mitt Romney over women’s issues, saying the former Massachusetts governor is living in a “1950s time warp” and mocking his reliance on “binders full of women” to find qualified women to serve on his cabinet.

“You heard the debate last night,” Biden told a crowd of more than 1,000 at the Island Grove Regional Park Exhibition Hall in Greeley, Colorado. “When Gov. Romney was asked a direct question about equal pay, he started talking about binders. Whoa! The idea that he had to go and ask where a qualified woman was, he just should have come to my house. He didn’t need a binder."

“For good measure, Romney said, on multiple occasions, that he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood,” Biden added. “Look, talk about being out of touch. It’s not just the Swiss bank accounts and the Cayman Islands. No, really isn’t. It’s more than that. That I understand him doing. I can’t understand someone running for president doing [it], but I can understand him doing it. … But what I can’t understand is how he has gotten in this sort of 1950s time warp in terms of women.”

Biden continued to criticize Romney’s stance on equal pay, saying “he didn’t answer the question” when asked about it during Tuesday night’s debate and noted a Romney adviser said the Massachusetts governor did not support the The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which countered pay discrimination based upon age, religion, national origin, race, sex and disability.

“His senior adviser said last night in -- they call it the spin room -- when Romney was asked about, when they’re asked about did Romney support Lilly Ledbetter, which is just basic, minimal justice, he said Romney would have vetoed it.”

The vice president lauded President Obama’s performance at Tuesday’s presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, calling the president a “man of principle, a man of gumption, a man with a steady hand and a clear vision.

“That’s what America got to see last night,” he said. “And I am telling you, it’s presumptive of me to say as vice president, but I am proud of him.”

Biden pointed out that Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have shied away from offering specifics in the past three debates.

“Gov. Romney was a little, how can I say it -- sketchy?” Biden said. “No details, no specifics. But folks, that’s not new. We’ve now had three debates. Gov. Romney twice, Congressman Ryan once -- and the answers are always the same: ‘Maybe. It depends. We’ll let you know after the election.’ Folks, these are the only guys I’ve ever heard, out of any guys I’ve ever met, who thought that not telling you now, but telling you after the election, constituted leadership.”

While he delivered his normal criticisms of Romney and Ryan’s tax plan and creating incentives for companies to invest overseas, Biden focused heavily on immigration, saying Romney’s stance on the issue shows he’s “out of touch with the American people.”

“They support the action taken by the president to lift the cloud of deportation off a million kids that were brought here -- as if they’re going to say, at 2-years-old, ‘Mom, I don’t want to cross that border. Leave me behind, Mom. That’s what I want to do,’” he said. “And now, these guys are talking about these bright young kids and going to send them home. Home? Home? This is home. This is home. America is home. They didn’t choose to come here, but they chose to do right by America, and the president believes it’s time to do right by them.”

Biden ribbed Romney for his suggestion that undocumented immigrants should self-deport.

“Self-deportation?” he asked. “Whoa. Every 13-year-old, get up and move, man.”

Biden, who was campaigning alongside Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., has visited Colorado five times as vice president. But Wednesday’s trip marked his first visit of 2012. Biden encouraged Colorado voters to vote early and assured them that a victory in Colorado will win Obama and Biden the election.

“Folks, we need you, because together we can win Colorado -- and we win Colorado, we win this election,” Biden said. “So let’s go. Let’s stand up. We’re going to win. Let’s move forward. God bless you all and may God protect our troops.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio