'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Charles Schumer, and Sen. Jeff Sessions

Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Charles Schumer, and Sen. Jeff Sessions on 'This Week'

ByABC News
April 12, 2013, 4:33 PM

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2013— -- A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, April 14, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KARL: Let's make a deal.


SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ, R-N.J.: All of the major issues have largely been agreed to.


KARL: Congress is finally moving forward on immigration. Plus...


SEN. PATRICK J. TOOMEY, R-PA.: I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control.


KARL: A bipartisan breakthrough on guns. But will either deal survive? We've got key players on all sides. Republicans Marco Rubio, and Jeff Sessions, and Democrat Chuck Schumer. Then our powerhouse roundtable on all the week's politics. The president jumps into the budget battle.


OBAMA: I've already met Republicans more than halfway.



BOEHNER: Listen, why don't we do what we can agree to do?


KARL: And, Jay-Z's rap on his Cuba flap. Plus, we celebrate Jackie Robinson's legacy with baseball legend, Mariano Rivera, only on this week.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from the Museum in Washington is Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl.

KARL: Hello again. George is off, and it's great to have you with us. The last session of Congress was the least productive in history, but there are signs that may be about to change. There is a lot of talk about bipartisan compromise this week, including indications that the long awaited immigration bill is about to be revealed. So, what's in the plan? We're joined by the Republican Party's point man on immigration, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio, thank you for joining us.

RUBIO: Thank you, Jonathan.

KARL: So you are considered the key to getting immigration reform passed. My question this morning is, do we have a deal?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, let me say, I am not the key. I think there's 92 other senators and eight (ph) that I've worked, so (ph) many (ph) others that I've worked with that are key to this as well. So I am just here today to communicate to you the importance of this issue, and hopefully what we've agreed to.

Let me say this about - you asked me if there was an agreement. The answer is, we've been working very hard, and I think we have come to a position now where we've been able to tell our staffs to draft something. We need to read that, and that's what we're in the process of doing. But I am very optimistic that we're going to have something very positive to share with the American people here very, very soon, perhaps as early as this week.

KARL: But to be clear, you're talking about something that will give a path to citizenship for those that are in the country illegally right now, and in fact, give them legal status six months after this becomes law.

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think it's important to understand it does not give anything. It allows people access to the legal immigration system. Number two, some people won't qualify. They haven't been here long enough; they've committed very serious crimes. They won't be able to stay. Number three is all people will get an opportunity to apply for things, to apply for a legal status, which isn't awarded on day one. I mean, there is a process for that. You have to pay an application fee and a fine, and you are going to have to stay in that status while you pay taxes and prove that you are not a public charge. And you don't qualify for any federal benefits. And after some period of time, over 10 years that's elapsed, the only thing you will get - assuming that the border is secure, that e-verify is in place, that an entry exit system is in place for tracking visas, then the only thing you get is the chance to apply for a green card, like everybody else does. The only thing you are earning here is an opportunity to apply for temporary status, and ultimately potentially to apply for a green card, the way everybody else does. And that's the process that we are outlining.

KARL: But you are already taking heat from some of your own natural allies on the right. Congressman King, Steve King in the House is calling this amnesty. He said this week that what you're talking would, quote, "pardon immigration lawbreakers and reward them with the object of their crime." And Senator Ted Cruz, Republican in the Senate, was just as harsh. Listen to what he had to say.


SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: If we pass something that allows those here illegally to achieve citizenship, it means you're a chump for having stayed in your own country and followed the rules.


KARL: So? Your response?