Meet the Press   |  April 14, 2013

Diving deep into immigration overhaul

A Meet the Press roundtable discusses details of immigration overhaul efforts and remarks made by Sens. Marco Rubio, Kirsten Gillibrand and Mike Lee.

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

>> david brooks , from immigration to guns to the budget, do you see the parties finding mutual self-interest to get something done?

>> yeah, if you woke up this week you would be under the illusion we're a functioning democracy. things are working well he is especially on immigration . i have to salute the gang of eight. they have worked well. they are working well, the administration gave them space. i think marco rubio is a hero. he said earlier today he is not thinking about the politics. i hope he's thinking about the politics. the politics are going to be touch for him if he runs for president with this. it's heroic what he's doing and so it's senators acting in prudent and courageous ways this week. and i think that's true on guns but especially immigration . it's been a good week for those of us who watch this.

>> chuck todd , a quick question or comment?

>> i would say i agree. i do think the difference between immigration and guns is immigration the emotion has been taken out of it and that's why you're seeing a whole bunch of people attack it as public policy rather than getting -- the gun issue because it's emoti emotional makes it harder. senator lee, i guess my one question is do you not believe the metric that they're going to have with the border security ? that supposedly has to -- there's going to be an amount that they have to come up with and say, okay, the border is secure. then the path to citizenship begins. do you just not believe that's going to be the case?

>> it's not so much --

>> that's what you target in the bill.

>> it's not so much i don't believe the metric. it's that i think it's a matter of political reality and as a matter of practical implementation of these laws. we can pass things right now that would deal with border security and that will implement the entry/exit system and will update and modernize our visa system. we can get that done. there is broad based bipartisan support for all of thoets those things in both parties of congress. we can get that done. there's a lot less consensus on what to do with the 11 million. what i'm saying is let's get those things done right now. we will deal with the 11 million once those things are done and i think we'll be able to convince a lot more people to support addressing the 11 million that way.

>> on the immigration question it seems that it's the border security can be secured there is no reason for the republican party nationally not to jump onboard on this. actually aren't we looking in your party at the conflicting polls between house districts, house races, and what is clearly right for the republican party in terms of presidential and even senatorial politics? what november revealed with about the changing demographics of this country is something that is clear from a party policy point of view but which, when you talk to individual members of the house, is still going to be -- i would love to agree with david that we are at a time of functioning government. america has gotten to the stage it was almost ungovernable recently. i wonder when these things get out of the senate and into the house, are we going to hit that roadblock again where individual congressional districts , whether it's on immigration or whether it's on gun control are still going to gum up the process.

>> katty, to your point, if you are just saying that a border security is the most important issue, we've come a long way on border security . president obama has made a big commitment on that. he has 21,000 boots on the ground to do the work. they have aerial surveillance technology they've never had before. they've done a lot. confiscations that have taken place continue to decrease over time because they're just getting it done. so i think to say you can't do immigration rae form before you do border -- is not only a red herring but so shortsighted because, again, immigration is such an economic issue. as you said if you take the emotion out of it, it's a huge economic engine. if you want to put the emotion back in, i'm happy with that, too. i like the dream act and i think these young children who are brought here by their parents should be able to litsch the american dream .

>> in 17 house districts where there is an immigration reform , then that gets used. it gets used as the reason to gum up the process.

>> if there's one thing we learned from the last comprehensive immigration debate we had in 2007 is that when we play politics with this area of the law, everyone loses. we stalled out further immigration efforts for effectively six years. what i'm saying is not necessarily that you have to do border security first because it's the most important. these are all important issues. what i'm saying is that as a matter of sequencing, you have to deal with border security , have an entry/exit system, update and modernize our visa system so that it works and that way we'll be in a better position to enforce whatever laws we have.