Knee-jerk Republican criticism to the leaked White House immigration proposals centered around timing–how long undocumented workers would have to wait to be offered a path to citizenship. As USA Today reported Saturday, the leaked document shows that President Obama outlined an eight-year waiting period for citizenship. Democratic Sens.s Dick Durbin and Bob Menendez, who are both part of the gang of eight senators crafting immigration legislation, have suggested ten years.
The challenges with the negotiations seems to be that Republicans have been reluctant to assign a timeline for the process. Aides to Sen. Marco Rubio tell NOW ”The senator has not specified a timeline” and say they do not comment on bipartisan negotiations. Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday a path to citizenship should only happen once the border is secure, which would be declared by an annual vote by Congress.
But what defines a secure border? A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found the net migration from Mexico has fallen to zero. In fact, from 2005 to 2010, more people moved to Mexico from the United States than vice versa. Finding common ground on this sticking point may decide whether or not a path to immigration reform exists in the current Congress.
Alex Wagner and the NOW panel discuss the fate of immigration reform with Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, who believes Congress could vote on a comprehensive immigration bill by the end of the summer.