U.S. Senate holds first hearing on immigration reform

By WEEK Producer

February 13, 2013 Updated Feb 14, 2013 at 11:02 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- At the Senate's first hearing in the latest push for immigration reform Wednesday, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas told the story of his life.

Raised in this country as an undocumented immigrant, this is the country he calls home.

"What do you want to do with me? For all the undocumented immigrants who are actually sitting here at this hearing, for the people watching online and for the 11 million of us what do you want to do with us?" he asked.

Also testifying was Chris Crane, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent protesting the Obama Administration's policy to focus only on deporting the most dangerous illegal immigrants.

"Only if an alien's first arrested by local police on criminal charges can ICE agents and officers consider making an immigration arrest," he explained.

While comprehensive immigration reform has eluded Congress for decades, eight lawmakers from both parties are working together on a plan.

Senator John McCain tells Telemundo's Jose Diaz Balart that this time is different.

"I think this year it's very likely we can get passage," McCain says.

Skeptics demand assurances that any reform discourages illegal immigration in the future and a policy expert testified that past reform efforts have fallen flat unless they are small and targeted.

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