Meet the Press   |  April 07, 2013

Graham: Marco has been a ‘game changer’

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., discusses what needs to done in the Senate need to do to come together on immigration reform, noting that fellow senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been instrumental in helping the GOP move forward in creating a pathway to citizenship.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> on immigration, what stands in the way of a deal?

>> we have an agreement between labor and business about the guest worker program , but we're revisiting that. we're hoping to get this thing done in the next couple of weeks is the guest worker program . high skill and low skill labor. how can you access it in an affordable fashion? if we're reasonable with 11 million, if we give them a pathway to citizenship that's earned and hard and fair, get in the back of the line, pay taxes, then the democratic party has to give us the guest worker program to help our economy. that's what we're arguing over.

>> will marco rubio be there for you.

>> he has been a game changer in my party. he will be there only if the democrats will embrace a guest worker program and immigration system to replace the broken one and we gain our sovereignty back, securing our borders and having control of jobs. marco will be there. if we get the 11 million on our side it puts the pressure on the democrats to come up with a workable guest worker program . marco has been indispensable.

>> one more political question before you go, and that is -- before i do that, let me get governor richardson 's take on this, on the immigration fight, where you think it's going?

>> i'm very pleased with the work of the gang of eight. i'm pleased with this labor agreement between the afl-cio and the chamber of commerce . if they could get together, republicans and democrats can get together. but i have some significant worries, and i'm a hispanic-american. one, the path to scitizenship. don't make it too burdensome. make it achievable. i've seen reports of this 13 years to get there. you know, let's be reasonable.

>> the president wants it to be certain.

>> right. and it not be conditional. number two, tying legalization -- the path to citizenship to border security , i was a border governor. you know, there has to be dramatic improvement in border security but so many people coming in and then you can legalize, that is unacceptable. and, lastly, have some way -- have some way that the drop dead date as late as possible so as many of the 12 million that are here can get in. you know, i just think that this gang of eight work is important, and i hope it continues, but, you know, we have to recognize the humanity and the improvements on the economy of the millions of workers that are here and, also, the politics.

>> let me get a final thought on this before we take a break.

>> we're not being over run by canadians but people who live in poor and corrupt countries who come here to get work. i understand that. we have to regain our sovereignty, control our border, and there will be border security tied to a pathway to citizenship. there will be an earned pathway to citizenship. you're not going to break in the line. it will be available to everybody who works hard, pays a fine, passes a background check, but we are going to secure that border, and it will be tied to pathway to citizenship or there will be no deal.

>> we'll talk after this break about presidential politics , waiting for hillary clinton . if she's the nominee can republicans beat her?

>> i think after eight years of barack obama if things don't change the next democrat running for president will be in trouble. she will be a formedable candidate. i think her time as secretary of state is mixed. benghazi is yet to be told completely. anybody underestimates her on the republican said would do so at peril. anybody can be beat in this country.

>> all right, senator graham. thank you as always. good to have you here.