Biden wants immigration reform by end of summer
May 9th, 2013
09:42 AM ET
12 months ago

Biden wants immigration reform by end of summer

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden laid out a timetable for his hopes on immigration reform, saying he wants to see Congress pass a bill in the coming months.

"As my grandpop would say, with the grace of god and the good will of the neighbors, Congress will show the wisdom to pass the bipartisan immigration bill by the end of the summer. They must, and I'm optimistic," he said Wednesday at a Washington dinner for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

"My optimism isn't based on any false notion," he continued. "It's based on my absolute firm belief that the American heart has changed, as well."

The Senate Judiciary Committee markup begins Thursday for comprehensive legislation proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight. The bill outlines a pathway to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, as well as tighter border security and better enforcement of current laws.

While the bill represents the most substantive legislation proposed on immigration reform since efforts were made-but ultimately failed-in 2007, the proposal has nonetheless seen strong pushback by some on the right.

The Heritage Foundation, a widely-known conservative think tank in Washington, released a report this week indicating the bill would cost $6.3 trillion in taxpayer dollars over the next 50 years and called for Congress to pass immigration laws in a piece-by-piece approach, rather than through an all-encompassing bill.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, part of the Gang of Eight, hit back against the report, saying he didn't consider it "legitimate."

Critics on the right have also taken issue with the bill's component that calls for a pathway to citizenship.

At the same time, Republicans seem to be more open to immigration reform than they were the last time around. Shortly after the GOP lost last year's presidential election, high-profile Republicans argued the party needed to make immigration a higher priority, given the low turnout among Latinos for Republican candidates. Mitt Romney won 27% of Latino voters, according to CNN exit polls.

More than two dozen conservative leaders signed a joint-statement released Thursday, pledging support for immigration reform and calling the current Senate bill an "important starting point."

"Simply opposing immigration reform should not be the conservative response to this problem. We believe conservatives should be leading the way on this issue by supporting legislation that upholds conservative principles," the statement read.

It was spearheaded by Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, and co-signed by prominent conservatives, including Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, American Enterprise Institute scholar Paul Wolfowitz, American Principles Project President Frank Cannon, and American Action Forum Chairman Fred Malek.

Biden, speaking earlier Wednesday at a State Department event on Western Hemisphere affairs, said working toward immigration reform is "granting (immigrants) the dignity and respect they deserve."

"It's hard to make the case in my view to 600 million people in the hemisphere that we genuinely respect you all but we do not show respect for 11 million people here in America, who hail from the very countries we talk about respecting," he said. "That's why we're absolutely committed to genuine immigration reform."


Filed under: Immigration • Joe Biden
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. just askin

    since when did joe biden become president??? i mean obama is one loser of a president but he still holds the title at least. i guess since obama has lost his mojo biden is going to give it a try.

    May 9, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I'm confident the Senate can get a bill passed. But that confidence fades away when you mention the House.

    May 9, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. it must be stated

    Voting for immigration reform counts on the federal government ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAWS, which it has proven it will NOT do. Democrats will con the Republicans and all Americans by giving the illegals ALL the benefits and WAVING all the requirements. This will end up being blanket amnesty at no cost to the illegals.

    And we will be back with the same problem in 10-15 years as more and more invade our country to get the next wave of amnesty.

    May 9, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Steve Crowley

    The first part of the bill should be to deport Biden.

    May 9, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Data Driven

    Paul Wolfowitz can issue all the press releases he likes, but the forces of racial resentment and economic exploitation will scotch any immigration reform bill.

    May 9, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    If immigration reform fails, Republicans and Tea Partiers will receive the blame. Their outreach program to minorities will be an exercise in futility.

    May 9, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Wilson

    Donna

    Adding the government to the process will only make it worse. Government bureaucracies are NOT known for their quick response. Just ask people in New York and New Jersey. Obama just wants to get the federal government into as many aspects of our life as possible. The most feared words in the English language are "I'm from the federal government and I'm here to help you."
    -----------
    I remember when the scariest words you could ever hear could come from a 4 year old, "I'm bored."

    May 9, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. much thunder..little rain

    uncle joe"s corn pone saying about grandpop wont speed this along at all..do it right not fast..

    May 9, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. just sayin

    sure looks like obama and biden are trying to divert attention from the still bad economy and pending obamacare disaster. i guess they really want to hurry up and finish putting the nails in the coffin of this country. there is absolutely no reason why this country needs a total overhaul of its immigration laws. what it needs is a governmnet that enforces the laws we already have.

    there is absolutely no reason to believe obama and the democrats will enforce any, any, any, immigrations laws. it is not in their party's interest to do so. they don't care about this country, just keeping and centralizing power in the federal government.

    May 9, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Mema

    We The People are way past carrying what Biden wants! I was wondering this morning. What good has Obama/Biden done for America(n)'s since they entered office? NOTHING! Then why are they still in Office? With our own severe unemployment and under employment, tent cities, poverty, education system, financial terrorist, healthcare of lack of it, hunger among our own people we just can not take on any others until we have cleaned up our own house, first. What a HUGE MONSTROUS MISTAKE THIS IS GOING TO BE... One of many Obama/Biden have committed, however, they continue to get their salaries, salary increases, huge benefit package for life along with all their vacations at the expense of America. I ask, again, What Has These Two Done for US? Put US in severe debt..breaking our country up and selling US to the UN and highest bidder. NO, enough is enough. Biden, I do not care what you want.. The Will of the People Do NOT want Amnesty at this time!

    May 9, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    If you want it, then make it happen. If you're waiting for Repub cooperation on this, forget it. They wouldn't vote on gun control measure 90% of Americans want – the Repubs have proven time and again they could care less about representative democracy and the American people.

    Get it done, Joe!

    May 9, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "Voting for immigration reform counts on the federal government ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAWS, which it has proven it will NOT do."

    Yeah, you're so right....and here's all the proof that Obama and the federal gov't don't want to and refuse to enforce immigration laws:

    1. Obama has placed more troops and tech on the border than at any time in the country's history;

    2. Obama has set records each year for the number of deportations; and

    3. Net illegal immigration is ZERO.

    Oh wait...

    May 9, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Sniffit

    "Adding the government to the process will only make it worse. "

    Yeah, immigration laws are totally a matter for private industry. WTH are you talking about?

    May 9, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    The only reform needed, is for the GOVERNMENT to start enforcing our LAWS!

    May 9, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. rla

    Sure 10-30 millin and their extended families on the welfare roles>>>> Please this amnesty will degrade my family , degrade the USA and slam us farther into debt -whats not to like???? It can't be enforced, we are BROKE and I am tired of be played a fool by the dem/ progressives elite

    May 9, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel

    The only reform needed, is for the GOVERNMENT to start enforcing our LAWS!
    --------------------
    Like the law passed by GWB that says employers keeping I-9 forms on file for the INS can toss them after 3 years?

    May 9, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Richard Long

    And the money to fund the provisions of the Amnesty Bill will come from the magical Money tree that grows in the mystical forest behind the White House. If we feed the unicorns with our tax dollars and children's futures, the unicorns will water the Money tree with their urine and even more money will magically grow as to pay for the huge increase in food stamps, free medical service, subsidized housing, and pubic schooling.

    May 9, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Mema
    We The People are way past carrying what Biden wants! I was wondering this morning. What good has Obama/Biden done for America(n)'s since they entered office? NOTHING!
    -----------------------------------------------–
    I really hate responding to comments with improper grammar and misspellings, but since you've been completely brainwashed by right wing radio and media, here's just a few things: Iraq War is over, OBL is dead, Khadaffi is dead, Pirates are dead, Auto Industry is alive, Dow over 15,000 & housing market is back on the rise. I can go on, but I'm sure you don't want to be bothered with FACTS!!!

    May 9, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. Donna

    Democrats want "comprehensive immigration reform" that will wreck our immigration system, just as Obamacare has wrecked our healthcare system. We will get another 2,400 page bill that nobody read and which spawns 20,000 new regulations, ALL favorable to illegals coming here and getting citizenship quickly.

    There is absolutely no reason why the problems that exists cannot be fixed one at a time, beginning with the securing of our borders AND a system that tracks down and deports people who overstay their visas AND no more anchor babies. These three items alone would cut illegals in this country to practically nothing. End of problem. Let all the other illegals here wallow in their illegal stature as far as I am concerned. They knew they were breaking the laws when they came here. They should not get treated as anything but the criminals they are.

    May 9, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    Rick McDaniel
    The only reform needed, is for the GOVERNMENT to start enforcing our LAWS!
    ------–
    Like the law passed by GWB that says employers keeping I-9 forms on file for the INS can toss them after 3 years?
    ---
    So you want them to keep them forever??? If the government was doing their job and verifying them as valid citizens, this should not be a problem. But we all know the federal government is NOT doing their job and verifying these people. Do you have any other ridiculous red herring arguments you'd like to throw out and have debunked?

    May 9, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "The only reform needed, is for the GOVERNMENT to start enforcing our LAWS!"

    Translation: "HOLY CRAP!!!! WHERE DID ALL THESE BROWN PEOPLE COME FROM!?!?!?!"

    May 9, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Sniffit

    "total lie. it started happening when women were allowed into the military. get your facts straight and stop lying."

    Over half the victims are men, champ. Look it up. Information is your friend. Do you not understand what kind of devolution can occur in a male dominated subculture in which rampant hazing takes place?

    May 9, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Larry in Houston

    at least he's helping Obama – unlike the previous veep – who's main goal was to see what he could do for haliburton -

    May 9, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Galactus93

    Who let Biden out of his cage again? He is an idiot. NO AMNESTY and NO LEGALIZATION of illegal aliens. We need to enforce our current immigration laws and deport all illegal aliens.

    May 9, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Guest

    Enforce the existing laws! We dont need another ACA catastrophe.

    May 9, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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