Roundtable I: Immigration Breakthrough?

George Will, Donna Brazile, Chris Hughes, Steve Inskeep, and Rep. David Schweikert.
5:57 | 01/27/13

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Transcript for Roundtable I: Immigration Breakthrough?
some of our peers on the other side expressed their ambitions for your future. I salute you and look ahead to 2016 wishing you much success and extending to you my highest regards. Madam secretary, first let me thank you for your service, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors mostly. a little bit of a love fest up there. A lot of speculation over secretary clinton's future even during that hearing over benghazi. We'll get to that coming up. Our roundtable is here. George will, editor in chief and publisher of "the new republic" and facebook co-founder chris hughes, democratic strategist donna brazile, arizona republican congressman david schweikert and the host of npr's "morning edition," steve inskeep. Welcome, everyone. And I want to start with you, george will, on what you've just HEARD john McCain talking about saying, I'm going to give you some straight talk, a path to citizenship has to be included in this. It does, and I'll tell you why. The interesting thing, martha, is that this debate is coming to a rolling boil and a moment when for almost two years now net immigration from the south of the united states is approximately zero. We sort of solved the problem. You want to stop immigration, have a huge recession. That will take care of it. Second, what no one can say has been involved in the process but the rest of us have to say over and over again, the 11 million undocumented immigrants are not going home. The american people would not tolerate the police measures necessary to extract from our community a significant portion of them have been here ten years or more. 5 million have had children. Those 5 million children are american citizens. I did the arithmetic. In order to deport 11 million people would require a line of buses bumper to bumper from san diego to alaska. It's not going to happen, therefore, the question is, how do you get to citizenship? Congressman schweikert, i have a feeling you have something to say on this. Well, you know, and actually being from one of those border states. ARIZONA WHERE john McCain is from. AND senator McCain actually touched on this. If you go to the southern part of my state, I have people who actually live in fear for what's going through literally the back of their house, their property. So the devil's ultimately in the details. What will happen to the populations today, but what will happen to our border security for those of us who are border states. What will happen in the visa system? Will we actually have a visa system that works that tracks those who go over the state and what does the future look like? Intel just put up a $6 billion plant in my community and we're having trouble finding enough electrical engineers for them. Will we move to like great britain, australia, new zealand with a point system so we can bring in the greatest talent from around the world that will grow our economy? Tell me if I'm wrong, though, congressman, it seems a couple of years ago the question was if there was going to be reform or some kind of change. It seems to me now the question is what form it will take. When I talk with people in your party's leadership in the house which might be the biggest obstacle they're making moves and so most to prepare for this putting people on the right committees to make sure they're ready to move some legislation. I guess maybe having been in my state legislature, 20 years ago we were talking about it back then and a lot of it -- AS john McCain pointed out, things have changed, and there was this election, so this does seem to be the time. That also introduces the question of president obama's capacity to lead on this. You know, we'll see in the speech in las vegas on tuesday but I think a big structural question for his second term is his ability to put forth an argument that inspires the american people but also challenges a lot of people who may want to block his agenda in congress and there's a structural question there, which I think is open. You know, when the president met with the congressional hispanic caucus on friday, he made it very clear that the time was right to move his legislation forward, and you have a bipartisan group of senators and that are working on these so-called principles, the pillars of what this comprehensive immigration reform will look like, but already we've seen them. This president, strict border patrol, but the path to citizenship has been the thorn in everyone's side in terms of how do we get there? I do believe that after the speech this week and what we see on capitol hill, that this legislation might move very quickly, within the next two months. I just want to very quickly touch on benghazi. It's been going on for months. There have been hearings. There have been these accountability review boards. George, do you think it's over? I know jay carney this week said he thought the gop was obsessed with benghazi. No, I think the subject had the juice wrung out of it by saturation journalism and probably won't go on. Mrs. Clinton played the standard washington court of saying, i take full responsibility which means no more questions, please. We've settled responsibility and that's all that's supposed to matter and then you say she was buried under a tide of 1.4 million cables so she wasn't really responsible so it's a classic dusty answer from washington. Steve, you being the other member of the media here, is it over? Well, I don't know. Secretary clinton raised this question, what difference does it make, the controversy that republicans are raising. It's been suggested that that may become fodder for campaign commercials should she run for president in 2016, but it is an interesting question. In some ways a fair question. Because the obsession is focused most publicly over what was said in sunday talk shows. On sunday talk shows, exactly. No one cares what's said on sunday talk shows, martha. Yeah, yeah, come on. There's serious questions about the lack of security before and serious questions to answer but whether they can capture the public's imagination is another question. Okay, thanks. Talking points. We're going to -- obsessed with talking points. There was a little session about the talking points.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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