ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports: Despite President Obama's trepidation about moving this year toward an immigration reform bill, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said today "We can and should" pass something. Schumer said Democrats will strive in their proposal to be "down the middle." But he does not yet have a needed Republican cosponsor. An outline of a immigration legislation – a 26-page, nine-point document – is being circulated among interest groups by Schumer, D-NY, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ. The proposal is tougher than a comprehensive bill that failed in the Senate in 2007, when most Republicans and 14 Democrats opposed a comprehensive bill.
The new proposal would set benchmarks for border security that would have to be met before creating a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the country. The proposal has not yet been publicly released, ABC has obtained a copy. View it HERE. Schumer said at an unrelated press conference that he is meeting with Republicans to find bipartisanship. Democrats will need at least one Republican to vote with them to overcome an anticipated filibuster. Sen. Lindsey Graham had been working with Schumer but has recently said he doesn’t think a bill can be passed this year. On Air Force One last night, President Obama said he has spoken with Republicans recently about moving forward with an immigration reform bill. But, he said, it has already been a “tough” year. “I know there may not be an appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue,” President Obama said, adding, “I don’t want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn’t solve the problem. I want us to get together, get the best ideas on both sides, work this through, and when it’s ready to go, let’s move. But I think we need to start a process at least to open up a smarter, better discussion than the one that is raging right now.”