Transcript for Thousands Gather Nationwide for 'Rally for Citizenship'
This is a special report. From ABC news now. Hello everyone I'm -- -- in new York and this is an ABC news now special report. Tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters are rallying on Capitol Hill today. Pushing for the first big -- -- of the country's immigration system since the mid 1980s. There are also rally taking place in Denver San Francisco Sacramento and other major cities. In Washington the wind is at their backs with senators now putting the final -- -- new bipartisan bill. We're joined now from hill like -- political editor. Jordan Fabian -- Jordan. -- doing so Jordan there Colleen -- the rallying for citizenship a massive. Of that. Who can we expect to be speaking and what can we expect to hear. Well -- going to be leaders from the -- community. From labor unions like the SE IU and also some this and with US celebrities we have the musician -- -- is gonna be in attendance. And there will be two members of congress speaking. Represented -- Luis Gutierrez from Illinois. And senator Bob Menendez both of whom have been at the forefront of this immigration issue for very many years in and they're going to be pressuring congress. It's -- or get the ball rolling on immigration reform obviously. We know that the senate and house have secret groups working on bills but they wanna see legislation put forth and put put to the public. And put -- What you talk about what's going on inside the corridors of congress there are deals being made we now but what's been solved then what is still being debated. Well it seems like lawmakers here -- putting the finishing touches on their bills these are very long complex bills we can expect it to be over. You know thousand pages. -- -- still a lot of issues to be worked out one of the big. Issues that still needs to be resolved this how many visas will be allotted to each category there's a tension between. It was -- will there be enough Jesus for families to reunite with their spouses and children or will that be enough visas for businesses to hire. High and low skilled immigrant workers and sort of the number of those visas that's what lawmakers are trying to figure out. In the coming days here and in UK -- Don't have -- -- finally either end of this week or next week but wool off the state. And Jordan were also hearing that the southern border security is going to be part of any planets ironed out apparently. For some agreement to be made it seems that -- Republicans especially want to make sure that these southern border. Which the US shares of Mexico and is 2000 miles long. Is somehow going to be shored up more than it is already back could be a tough tough part of this deal. Absolutely and and what they've they've actually come to agreement here and they want to. Increased side patrols of the -- they wanted. Have more manpower down there are more -- -- unmanned drones patrolling the border they wanna increase the amount of apprehensions that are being native. Of illegal crossings and the way this is gonna work is that they want to have the Department of Homeland Security which oversees border security. Be able to prove -- -- but they're using metrics that they have. Accomplish these goals -- and only then we'll immigrants -- been granted legal status only then could dates apply for permanent residency in -- citizenship. So tell us there's still a lot of points of disagreement in do you think we can expect something by the end of this week or early next or is that too optimistic. Well I ran into senator Jeff flake in the in the hallway here earlier he's one of the Republican members of the -- that we asked them. You know what are we see this though they were -- introduce in a march they blew past that deadline and he said either Friday but if it's like sitting next week. Then early next week so that's -- with the latest we're here but again we'll -- these things are all from here. -- the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing now scheduled for eight weeks from today the seventeenth by Vermont senator Leahy. Will that be the only hearing it's going to be a big -- So they're judiciary committees hold party held a couple appearances here. But -- so far is the only hearing that they scheduled. After the bill is expected to be released now there's also going to be a markup of the bill. Where senator shall be able to -- negotiating make changes on May sixth. But in terms of public hearing that's only one we're hearing so far and there are some Republican members who are saying hey. Look this a huge complex bill and we do any more hearings on this issue and so this can also emerged as another point of contention how many hearings they have on the bill not just the bill itself. And as the gang of eight coddling this together -- -- really united here are aren't -- some potential defector. Well there's been some talk that senator Marco Rubio. One -- the he's more conservative members of the group. Period. You know -- the group if certain of -- -- provisions aren't being met but at this point we haven't seen any real indication that he's ready to make that step. My impression is that he's trying just you know it's strict stance -- negotiate. To include more of his priorities in the bill which include no more border security and also. Interior enforcement making sure the people who you know company RP system overseeing them. Now it seems that the fact that Republicans are at -- table at all over this isn't some sort of progress. But we ask you how much of this is Republicans reacting to their 2012 election loss and how much conversely. -- Democrats trying to solidify their gains with Latino voters. Well I think I think both of those -- are can be dollars in the same time Senator John McCain -- an initial press conference where they announced. -- deal was set it out right he said hey you know we've lost two consecutive. Presidential elections were losing the Latino vote by you know wide margins -- seven to ten to. To President Obama the Asian American voters are. Are dissatisfied with the Republican Party. And on the democratic side if President Obama hit me a promise. That he would take up -- -- -- -- reform it didn't happen his first term. There -- -- very many Latino voters who were upset -- that. And so now I think this has become an imperative in his second term. After this -- his first priority so often there's -- hot riding on this. And should -- very tricky for the Republicans as well because as you said they're looking. They're trying to play the long game looking ahead -- the next presidential election with so many of their constituents do not support immigration reform. That's right so it's a very tough balancing act especially for somebody. Like senator rubio if you remember -- Tony tenuous against solve this when he was campaigning for now he is for it. So I think that looking at a demographic trends in this country is. More Latinos and more -- -- are beginning to vote I think over a lot of -- Republicans were high for the party say. Hey you know this is an issue where we need to -- or else. -- were always going to be talking to -- core constituencies and we're not going to be able to be a national party moving forward. Absolutely that you know -- it has been a lot of talk about the types of jobs -- new immigrants that will be doing. How about foreign students working for college degree is does this bill address than their future. Yes so we haven't heard the exact specifics but the framework that these senators put out would can be easily hand a green card. It is any foreign Syrian who's earning an -- -- here the United States in the fields of science technology engineering and mathematics so. Tech companies have been very active in lobbying congress saying hey. We want to keep these people here in and keep these jobs unit in the United States and I think this group -- addressed that. And it seems like that part of the bill would pass that -- him to -- major opponents of that. No I think this is one area work has very little disagreement between Democrats and Republicans and out now what are the odds that this bill in whatever form eventually takes gets passed and sent to the president. By the end of this year -- do you think that that's realistic. I think is still is realistic in India have there's been a delay in the process. So there's always a chance this could slip into next year. But I think a lot of people here in congress recognize in next year's election year it's very tough to move controversial pieces of legislation. In an election year if you call that's what happened with the health care bill -- turned into a massive fights RC. The lawmakers here congress are gonna do everything under the power to avoid them and pass something this year. Now is that this bill address any of what's going on right now in Arizona under Jan -- leadership where. Police are able to stop anyone that they suspect may not be legal. Which obviously a lot of pro immigration groups oppose. Because it leads to racial stereotyping is there hasn't been any talk about. You know to be honest I haven't heard talk of the slaw dressing that's specifically but -- -- -- whole crux of the law -- increases for security in exchange for legalization I think. Would cut to the you know -- demands a lot of these Republicans. We say that -- the federal government hasn't secure the border so this goes tried to demonstrate that yes -- the federal government is. You know -- securing the border is gonna do these are more it's to make -- more secure in states like Arizona. Now have that famous wall -- -- discussed again the wall -- partially up in some places. And considering going up and -- I mean -- know that's been very controversial and its effectiveness has been. Controversial as well as extremely expensive and is anyone who knows the southern quarter of the US doesn't address the terrain and many areas. So what is the latest on that wall. Well there's either whether -- not talking about it they're not talking about a physical wall what they are discussing is what they're calling -- virtual fence. So there would be a physical wall in certain places already is a lot of in a physical fences separating US Mexico border. But they would fill in the gaps with more border security agents drones -- -- -- unmanned checkpoints in the uses infrared technology these are a lot of -- Options are discussing in terms of -- reinforcing the divorce securities. And it -- it we're seeing right now he a live picture -- on Capitol Hill there. Before that various groups represented today. -- -- -- senator Larry there's a -- lot of faith organizations. Labor unions are participating in the SE IU which has a lot of members in the service industry a lot of Latino workers. Is -- been a key player in organizing this rally. Immigrant rights groups human rights groups and also another interest -- group. Which -- about today is he NAACP they're here so it's you know black civil rights groups are showing solidarity with Latino groups in in demanding that congress pass immigration reform. -- I have to say that one of the most colorful statements I've heard this morning listening to. With us because of him saying it was a woman I didn't have -- name but she says whether your let you know that -- so black or white. We all came we came into this world all of us went back she said because actually came. Out of our mothers I thought that was very -- Yeah very clever and certainly we'll continue to be -- very. Interesting and energetic day there in front of the capitol Jordan -- -- -- fusion political editor in Washington thank you so much. Thank you. And this has been an ABC news now special report you can always get the latest on immigration reform -- all the day's news on abcnews.com. I'm Tanya Rivero in New -- fifth. Assistant special with the from in the ABC news now.
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