Rep. Mario Diaz Balart Says President's New Tone On Immigration Is An 'Opportunity'

Oct 28, 2013

President Obama announced Thursday he would support any immigration bill as long as it includes a path to citizenship.

This is a big change from a few months ago, when the President insisted lawmakers take up comprehensive reform.

However, House Republicans have said they would only vote on bills that tackle one issue at a time-- creating a sort of stalemate.

But U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Miami, who has been a key figure on the issue of immigration reform, says the president’s change in tone presents an "opportunity."

“Is it a sure thing? Absolutely not,” he said. “Our biggest enemy right now is time. We need time on the floor. Every day or week or month that goes by our chances of getting it done are less and less. But can we get it done? Yes. Do I think we are getting to get it done? I am cautiously optimistic that we are going to get it done.”

Diaz Balart says he and a group of other Republicans are working to pass tougher border security and a way for some undocumented immigrants to earn a legal status.

President Obama has also said that he would only sign a bill that includes a path to citizenship for some of the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.