Award-winning actress and emerging Washington power player Eva Longoria told us on "This Week" that immigration reform should be a top priority in President Obama's second term.
"People say, 'Oh, get in the back of the line,' [but] people don't realize there's a hundred lines to get into," said Longoria of the immigration process. "It's a very broken system"
Just this week, the Wall Street Journal labeled the former "Desperate Housewives" star a "Hispanic activist and power player in Washington, D.C." She's been a top supporter of President Obama, serving as a co-chair of his reelection campaign and taking center stage last September for a speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Now, she is an executive producer and host of the Latino Inaugural, a concert at the Kennedy Center featuring performances by several artists including Jose Feliciano, Melanie Griffith and New York City's Ballet Hispanico. Longoria is also a co-chair of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, which is in full swing this week as Obama prepares to be sworn in for his second term.
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"What I am hopeful about is that this administration, and particularly President Obama, sees that immigration is an economic issue," Longoria said. "We have to understand that we are dependent upon a labor in this country, specifically agriculture, to provide low-cost products, and they're jobs that nobody else is doing."
Despite the partisanship in Washington, she said there's room for compromise on both sides of the aisle on immigration.
"There was a historic mobilization this election with the Latino vote," said Longoria, who was one of President Obama's leading Latino fundraisers, or "bundlers," for his reelection campaign.
"I think the Republicans are going to realize, if they don't do it because it's morally imperative, they have to do it because it's politically imperative," she said. "And if they're not going to do it because it's politically imperative, they've got to do it because it's economically imperative. So there's a lot of gains for everybody, no matter what party affiliation, to get this done and to fix this problem."
While she plans to remain politically active, Longoria told me she'll pass on running for office in her home state of Texas.
"I respect everything that politicians do. I think it's a very, very big job," she said. "It's not my day job, so I'm just doing what I can to help the communities in which I came from."