Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two senators restart talks on U.S. immigration reform plan

Two U.S. senators launched a fresh move to put together a bipartisan immigration reform plan on Sunday, restarting talks on a proposal that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.

Since President Barack Obama was re-elected last week with overwhelming support from Hispanic voters, many Republicans have expressed a new willingness to work with Democrats to pass immigration reform after years of legislative inaction.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said he and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham have agreed to resume talks on immigration reform that broke off two years ago." And I think we have a darned good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year. The Republican Party has learned that being ... anti-immigrant doesn't work for them politically. And they know it," Schumer said.

Obama in 2010 called the proposal backed by Graham and Schumer a "promising framework," but it made no headway.

There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of them Hispanics.
Speaking on the CBS program "Face the Nation," Graham said the tone and rhetoric used by members of his party on immigration "built a wall between the Republican Party and the Hispanic community." He noted that Republican presidential candidates have been steadily losing the support of Hispanic voters since 2004.

"This is an odd formula for a party to adopt: the fastest-growing demographic in the country, and we're losing votes every election cycle. And it has to stop. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot. Just don't reload the gun. ... I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to an American problem," Graham said.

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