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July 19, 2013 02:28 PM UTC

Telemundo Denver anchor gets suprise interview with President Obama

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  • by: Jason Salzman

Correction on 7-19-2013: Obama told a Telemundo Dallas reporter that he didn't want to speculate on whether he'd use his executive powers to stop deportations of undocumented immigrants, if Congress doesn't pass an immigration reform bill. Obama did not say this to Telemundo Denver reporter Maria Rozman, as reported previously here.

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Asked by Telemundo Denver anchor Maria Rozman about his demand that Congress include a "path to citizenship" for 11 million undocumented immigrants as part of an immigration-reform bill under consideration in Congress, President Barack Obama said:

"It does not make sense to me, if we're going to make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people so unresolved. And certainly for us to have two classes of people in this country, full citizens and people who are assigned to a lower status, I think that's not who we are as Americans. That's never been in our tradition.

Rozman was one of four Hispanic journalists from around the country invited to the White House Tuesday for one-on-one interviews with Obama.

Rozman told me she got the invitation “out of the blue” via a call on her cell phone on Friday evening.

“I said ‘yes’ immediately,” she told me, “without knowing for sure that it wasn’t a prank. I was looking at the time, because I had to be on-air for my newscast. I said, 'yes, sure thing, can you send me an email.'” 

Rozman was on a plane Monday and spent all day Tuesday in the White House for the five-minute interview, briefings, and tours.

Rozman said that the White House didn’t screen her questions for Obama on the immigration issue.

A bipartisan immigration-reform bill cleared the Senate but House Republicans have said it’s dead on arrival.

Rozman told me that she was on the White House lawn when an armed and shirtless intruder prompted a massive security response.

“Police were everywhere,” Rozman said. “I was just hoping it wasn’t one of those movies.”

See the interview here.

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