Lawmakers & Obama will hammer out differences in their immigration plans
POSTED: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 8:06am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The floodgates are about to open in the debate over immigration reform. The President's pitched his plan. Lawmakers have theirs.
This year is the goal, and while the big picture looks the same - border security, and a path to citizenship - details aren't clear yet on either of these proposals.
Starting today, lawmakers begin to sort out differences between their immigration plan and President Obama's.
Like: how long will it take for people living here illegally to become citizens?
"There's people that's been here for 20-30 years - in limbo," said, Zuriel Espinoza, California.
"It won't be a quick process, but it will be a fair process and it will lift these individuals out of the shadows," said President Barack Obama.
Immigrants say five years, but lawmakers want to make sure the borders are secure first - that could take longer.
"If this endeavor becomes a bidding war to see who can up with the easiest, quickest, cheapest pathway to a green card possible, this thing is not going to go well folks," said Senator Marco Rubio, Florida.
Another big difference: the White House wants same-sex immigrants to apply just like all other families.
Conservatives may have issues with that.
Some still aren't sold on the idea of allowing 11 million illegal workers to stay here at all:
"We BELIEVE in immigration - but we believe in LAW! "We shouldn't be REWARDING those who VIOLATE the law," said Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama.
Groups pushing for reform want to see it happen quickly:
"Not just talk -- we want to see it done this year," said Lawrence Benito of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
A solution for the nation, and for millions who dream of becoming Americans.