Washington - January 28, 2013

1. SOUNDBITE: Luis Torres/League of United Latin American Citizens

"It's definitely a very positive first step anytime that we have bipartisan Senators coming together to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. It's certainly a departure from the gridlock that we've seen in the past when this topic has been very heated on both sides of the aisle. So we're definitely looking at this as a very positive first step. There are certain aspects of their proposal, at least what we've seen so far what has been made public, that are encouraging to us. There is some sort of process for the legalization - the pathway to citizenship for immigrants, there is a process for the dreamers - for young people who are here through no fault of their own - a certain process for agricultural workers and of course there's now a conversation about using metrics to guide the enforcement and security policies which we have been created over the past 2 decades. So those are definitely positive developments. There are of course some challenges, some considerations that we need to look at, that we're still awaiting to see. More specifically relating to the security piece. What are these metrics that we're talking about? What are the benchmarks that the government is going to use before they even begin the process, the clearing of these immigrant backlogs that we see in our system? So we're definitely looking at that. there's some positive aspects but there are also some considerations which we'll be looking at very closely."


Washington - January 28, 2013

2. Wide shot of news conference where Senators promise immigration bill through Senate by summer


Philadelphia - September 16, 2011

3. File video of naturalization ceremony at National Constitution Center


Key Democratic and Republican U.S. senators are pledging to get a wide-ranging immigration bill through the Senate by summer even as they point to numerous pitfalls ahead.

The group of eight senators unveiled proposals Monday to secure the border, allow more guest workers, require tougher verification measures by employers and create a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

Luis Torres, the Director of Education Policy at League of United Latin American Citizens, says it's "definitely a very positive first step."

Torres said "it's certainly a departure from the gridlock that we've seen in the past when this topic has been very heated on both sides of the aisle."

While Torres called some of the proposals "encouraging," he said there are some challenges. He said his group is waiting for details "specifically relating to the security peace."

During a news conference Monday, the Senators expressed optimism they can succeed where numerous past efforts have failed.

Republican Sen. John McCain said November's election losses show Republicans they need to take steps to win over Latino voters.

But the senators quickly encountered a cool reaction from other lawmakers, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said immigration legislation is too important to be written in a back room.