Nightly News | January 28, 2013
>>> in washington this evening, here's something we haven't been able to say in a long time. there is new hope for a broad bipartisan agreement, this time on the issue of immigration reform . after republicans took a historic shellacking among hispanic voters in the november election, what has been one of the most divisive issues in recent politics, suddenly has lawmakers on both sides ready to make some sort of a deal. kelly o'donnell following it all for us on capitol hill tonight. kelly , good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. there really is new political urgency driving this. republicans say immigration reform is one way they could better connect with the fast-growing block of hispanic voters. democrats would like to help the president get an early second term success. so all that makes an agreement hammered out this weekend look like it's got a shot to deal with the 11 million people believed to be here illegally. today, in places like this vegetable field in ventura county , california, the immigration struggle is part of daily life for farmer craig underwood and 200 my grant workers he hires.
>> we would hope for some sort of reform, so that the workers don't feel threatened and that we don't feel threatened.
>> reporter: in a new plan, senators from both parties agreed, to get a green card and years later, citizenship, undocumented immigrants would register with the federal government , pay fines and back taxes, undergo criminal background checks and learn english. while other attempts at reform have failed, they claim this time is different.
>> the public's attitude has changed in four years. four years ago, they said, fix the border. now they much prefer a comprehensive solution.
>> elections. elections. the republican party is losing the support of our hispanic citizens.
>> reporter: a voting block so critical -- in an unusual display, both a veteran democrat and rising star republican described the plan in spanish. [ speaking in spanish ]
>> reporter: to attract conservatives, promises to strengthen security. more border patrol agents and aerial drone surveillance. the government would track temporary visas to reduce staying past deadlines and create a new employment verify verification system.
>> we have to ensure we don't do anything that encourages people to come here illegally in the future.
>> so there are new rules for undocumented immigrants who fill special needs . an agricultural worker program would permit laborers to work in the u.s. legally, but does not grant citizenship. visiting students who earn advanced degrees in science and technology here could get a green card . and, of course, there is real resistance among some republicans and some democrats. so the people behind this plan say they know it will still be very tough to turn today's framework into specifics and to get something done. brian?
>> kelly o'donnell on the hill covering it all for us tonight. kelly , thanks. let's bring