WASHINGTON — There is no doubt that 71% of Latino voters' clear choice on election day, has created a fertile environment for the renewal of legislation that would provide comprehensive immigration reform.
The results of these findings are striking, After a five year battle against any type of immigration reform , some republicans have begun to see a platform to stop their free flight downward move towards a demise of the republican party.
At a recent press conference President Obama was exited in detailing his second-term agenda for immigration reform stating "I'm very confident we can get immigration reform done," (Washington Post Transcript, Nov. 14, 2012) "[M]y expectation is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration."
President Obama outlined his amnesty plan as such: I do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here to simply to work. It's important for them to pay back taxes. It's important for them to learn English. It's important for them to potentially pay a fine, but to give them the avenue whereby they can resolve their legal status here in this country... The President also repeated his support for the DREAM Act, stating he wants to make Administration's temporary amnesty — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — a program that provides beneficiaries an "opportunity to earn their citizenship."
The President made it clear that White House staff is already working closely with Members of Congress on immigration legislation. There was a surprise following the republican defeat, when House Speaker John Boehner indicated that Republicans are willing to cooperate on immigration. "I'm confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all," Rep. Boehner said. (Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2012)
Now, Carlos Gutierrez, who spearheaded Mitt Romney’s outreach to Latinos during the campaign, had unkind words for the former nominee Sunday as he joined the growing number of republicans calling for immigration reform.
In a Los Angeles Times interview Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said, "For too long, both parties have used immigration as a political wedge issue," "But the time has come to find a bipartisan solution."
President Obama states that he is "already seeing signs" that Republicans are changing their positions, and his staff is in discussions with members of Congress on this issue "very soon" after his January inauguration. White House officials will probably not agree to proposals that take constricted slices of the issue because they feel they will have only one chance to push through an immigration bill in the next Congress.
As Obama said: "We need to seize the moment,"
Two old colleagues, Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) spoke after the election about writing a bill that would have a chance to pass next year. "Taking people at their word — like Lindsey and Chuck — if they really want to end illegality, then things are possible," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). "We will fairly and compassionately wrestle with what to do with people who are here illegally."
Graham and Schumer are pushing to revive a proposal they submitted to congress in March 2010 that would enable illegal immigrants already in the U.S. with no criminal record to pay fines and eventually apply for legal status and also create a limited guest-worker program.
Sen. Robert Menendez felt the same sentiment as the President, when he stated that "[W]e aren't going to get a second chance to do this bill, and we want to do this the right way," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who also talked to Graham last week about working on a comprehensive bill that includes a broad path to legal status.
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, is making an assertive drive to restart talks on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that has been stalled in Congress for years in
Diaz-Balart, chairman of a group of Hispanic lawmakers in D.C., said “For too long, both parties have used immigration as a political wedge issue, but the time has come to find a bipartisan solution to this critical issue,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement to the media. “I am committed to passing legislation to once and for all to fix our broken immigration system.”
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, seems ready to revisit the immigration reform issue too.
“For too long, Congress has turned a blind eye to our nation’s broken immigration system,”