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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript - Immigration Reform

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SCHULTZ: The leadership of the Republican Party is calling the producers of Glenn Beck. Saying we`ve got to get on the air to keep this whole thing together. Really?

Folks, I said on this broadcast last night, that Republicans in their heart, they don`t want immigration reform. They are addicted, they have been addicted for years, to cheap labor. They do not want to have 11 million undocumented workers have a ray hope of some day being an American citizen where they would potentially go join a union. They`re trying to kill unions. They don`t want wage earners to have any power. So, this is all about destroying immigration reform. This is all about another loss for President Obama. That`s what they want to do. This would be viewed in the long-term political history as nothing but a big victory for the progressive movement and a bunch of tag-alongs for the Republicans who have never led on anything in this nature.

Now, one thing the Tea Party does have on its side and that`s history. A lot of things have changed since 2007. But immigration reform has been defeated before. They do have success on their side when it comes to history.

And I do think that the Republicans in their heart really don`t want to do this. They are doing this. Because they feel like they have to because of the math of the last election. They know that we are a changing country. And before they offer up any plan for any worker or wage earner in this country, the first thing they`re going to do is just try to figure out, how the hell could we win the next election? We don`t care about the people. We just want the power.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question, is John Boehner powerful enough to stop the Tea Party from blocking immigration reform? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 67622. You can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com, and leave a comment there. We always love to hear from you.

Joining me tonight, congressman from Arizona, Raul Grijalva, and congresswoman from California, Loretta Sanchez. Great to have both of you with us tonight.

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you?

SCHULTZ: Congressman Grijalva, I want to ask you, does the Tea Party have the chops to mount the charge to thwart immigration reform in this country?

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: I think that they had the chops. They don`t have the same level of ability like they did in past, but they`re formidable, as you said, you have to take seriously, because these three people that you said on the screen is an effort and very dangerous effort by the way in that they are skirting, a lot of issues and not dealing with the fundamental really that we have 11 million people, that we have a plan in the Senate that while not far from perfect, far from perfect, is the beginning to normalizing lives for 11 million people in this country. Their resistance is not only political, I think it goes to whole other areas. And I suspect that as this debate gets uglier, that issues of race, issues of language, issues of heritage, will become more and more part of the dialogue. And that is dangerous for America. It`s dangerous for divisions we already have and the three people that you mentioned are doing this country not only disservice but are playing a very, very dangerous game with our society.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman Sanchez, what do you think the point of the Tea Party is here? To slow down the progressive movement, to keep cheap labor in America, what is their motivation?

SANCHEZ: I don`t know, I think their motivation is they just don`t want any more immigrants in. I -- you know, they say they want legal immigrants but the issue is that under the current legal system, we let not very many in. In fact we don`t bring in enough people to really make the America that we need to keep the economy going et cetera.

And so if they really care about America, they understand in the future, we`ll need more workers. Currently, we have workers that don`t have documents. And when you`re undocumented, you`re taking advantage of on a whole bunch of fronts. And by doing that, bad employers -- you know, most employers have good employees.

But bad employers use these people, pay them less, they don`t have benefits, if they get work, they are trashed and out they go. And what`s happening to the American worker that they also see wages depressed these bad employers are using these people.

So, if we would legalize these people, if they would get at least the minimum wage, if they would have basic rights in the country, we would see all of America rise.

SCHULTZ: Glenn Beck compared this conservative right to the civil rights movement. Congressman Grijalva, what is your response to that?

GRIJALVA: That is -- not only -- it is almost heresy for him to make that comparison. In fact, it is. The civil rights movement is about fulfilling people`s rights. Civil rights movement was to make the values of the nation real for all- Americans, regardless and comprehensive reform is about extending values to 11 million people that are here, that are working, and that`s the reality, and to immigrate them into this great society of ours. Simple as that. But to by a car the fight against emigration reform to the civil rights movement is heresy and a disservice to the sacrifices many, many made to assure that all rights were available for all Americans.

SCHULTZ: The question now, is -- it is shameful. But now, is Speaker Boehner going to be able to hold his caucus together and get something done on this? That, of course, is a big question. I just don`t have confidence that there is legislation coming forth from the conservatives in the House that is going to give confidence to 11 million undocumented workers to step forward, come out of the shadows and be part of America the way they want to be.

Take for instance, Congressman Steve King compete tweeted 20 brazen self professed illegal aliens invaded his D.C. office. King asked Senators Schumer and McCain, both members of the gang of eight, to come guard his door.

Congresswoman, what does this kind of rhetoric do for the Republican Party?

SANCHEZ: Yes, I mean, that`s just ridiculous. These are mostly young people who are coming. You know, he was afraid when the dreamers came to his door.

We certainly see that some of the Tea Parties and others are within the Republican conference to the most extent, especially in the House, are certainly afraid to do this, are looking at any potential poison pill, any way to derail this. They will make a nasty fight of it.

Certainly, we see Chairman Goodlatte of the Judiciary Committee where a good portion of the bill will come through his committee wanting it slice and dice it and put it up piece by piece where the reality is that, you know, my colleague for example, Raul -- I mean, he is not going to like everything in the bill. And I`m not going to like everything in the bill. But we`re going to have to like enough of it and say this is important enough for America it take this step that we will vote for it. So we really node to keep it in a comprehensive way and that`s one of the ways in which they are trying to undo it.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Grijalva, what if it fails? What does that say about America?

GRIJALVA: If it fails and all of the expectations and the hopes are that it doesn`t. If it fails, I think it will tear at our social fabric. It will say that the values of this nation have been changed. And it`ll say to many, many people, not only the 11 million people that are here, that America is no longer the welcoming nation -- the nation of opportunity, the nation where you can make a new and better life.

And I think the sadness will be that it will be a pale on this nation if it fails. And the leadership is in the hands of Boehner in the house. Not only to control, but to have the moral imperative to allow votes to be taken to move this agenda forward. Otherwise, it`ll be sabotaged in the house as efforts in the Senate are under way to sabotage.

SCHULTZ: You`re going to hear workers vilified on right wing radio. You`re going to hear the word amnesty about every 30 seconds.Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Raul Grijalva -- great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW. I appreciate your time.

GRIJALVA: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Happy Father`s Day, Congressman. Thank you.

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