'This Week' Transcript: Warren Buffett, Powerhouse Roundtable

STEPHANOPOULOS: That does gets to the question of what can get done in the remaining three-and-a-half years of his second term.

And Senator DeMint, let me bring that to you, because it brings up the issue of immigration reform. The president said again yesterday that he believes this can happen this year. But we're seeing conservative opposition, including from your group, the Heritage Foundation. You're going to be coming out with a new study this week that takes on the cost of immigration reform.

DEMINT: Right.

Well, the president -- I mean, our country faces very difficult economic and financial problems. But he seems contend to bring up emotional, divisive issues whether it be guns or immigration and start the fight and play the referee.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of Republicans supporting immigration reform, as well.

DEMINT: There are some.

And I think a lot of them are trying to solve a problem. But the study you'll see from Heritage this week presents the staggering costs of another amnesty in our country and the detrimental effects, long-term, that that will happen. There's no reason we can't begin to fix our immigration system so that we won't make this problem worse. But the bill being that's being presented is unfair to those who came here legally. It will cost Americans trillions of dollars. It will make our unlawful immigration system worse.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to bring everybody in -- but let me press you on one question, this question of cost. You believe it will probably cost in excess of $2 trillion, two-and-a-half.

DEMINT: Much more.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...trillion dollars. But the Congressional Budget Office, the Cato Institute, other Republicans have said, no immigration reform is actually going to increase economic growth, increase wages because it brings more into the workforce. Your response?

DEMINT: Well, CBO said Obamacare wouldn't cost us anything. They're basically puppets of the congress and the assumptions that they put in the bill. Heritage is the only organization that has done an analysis of the cost. Unlawful immigrants make up about 2 percent of our GDP. And they consume most of that. And if you consider all the factors of amnesty and unlawful immigration, the costs will be in the trillions of dollars over the lifetime of these unlawful...

RICHARDSON: Well, you know, I remember, when I was in the House of Representatives, I voted for a 1980s immigration -- 1986, Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented workers.

I think, senator, with all due respect, if the Republican Party wants to stay relevant in the electoral college with Hispanic voters, they've got to be moderate on immigration. And I think what is happening today is the senate has started out with a realistic bill. Although, I'm -- you know, as a Hispanic, my beef right now is the path to citizenship. I think it's 13 years. It's excessive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like becoming a Jesuit (ph).

RICHARDSON: Like the cost is huge. There's all these trip wires you have to do. So, I'm...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You aren't going to get anything more liberal through the congress, though.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...