Cesar Henao challenging Rep. Deutch for Florida House seat

Congressional candidate on immigration reform


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 23, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": From immigrant to Independent congressional candidate.

My next guest is so unhappy with Washington, well, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He's one of two Independent candidates challenging this guy, Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch in the Florida congressional race.'

By the way, there is no for Republican in the race. We spoke with the congressman just yesterday.'

Here today is Cesar Henao. He is only 12 years when he first came to this country from Colombia. He says the American dream is still alive.'

Very good to have you.

CESAR HENAO (I), FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Hello, Neil. Thank you very much for having me.

CAVUTO: I think you came here, Cesar, when you were 8 with your mom. And you became a legal citizen in 2002, correct?

HENAO: That is correct.

I actually came here on my own when I was 12 years old. I took a two-month journey through Central America and then, by an act God, I was able to luckily make it into the United States. And today, I am just so proud of being able to represent and have the opportunity to represent the people of District 21.

10 years ago, I did become a U.S. citizen. It was the happiest day of my life. And I promised God that I was going to be a servant of the community. I wanted to serve the United States of America to the best of my ability.

CAVUTO: Why as an Independent? If you're challenging a Democrat, you could have run as a Republican. There are no Republicans running in this race. What’s the deal there?

HENAO: Well, as I walk around my district, people are tired of the politics that's going on in Washington.

See, most political parties will tell you that Washington is broken, and even politicians will tell you that Washington is broken. But the reality is that the American voter is also responsible for what's going on in Washington.

See, we have got to be honest with ourselves and realize that we are responsible for putting the same politicians back in Washington that are backed by special interests, corporations, and have those interests more ahead than the American people's interests.

CAVUTO: All right, who do you think speaks more to the immigrant community, the Latino immigrant community? You started out obviously illegal. You became legal.

Marco Rubio says there's got to be a way to help those who are children of illegal immigrants become permanent citizens. But there is a division about it. How do you feel about him? And have you ever sought out his endorsement?

HENAO: Well, I know Senator Marco Rubio personally. I think he's a rising star in the Republican Party and I think that he's the only senator in the Republican Party who's actually touched the immigration issue.

And unfortunately for the last 26 years, both political parties have made the immigration issue a political issue. And there 's no willingness to actually solve the problem.

CAVUTO: So, how do you feel about Barack Obama's approach? I know when you were working in Congress, I think, as you yourself had said, in the lowest of ways, but you did used to have lunch with then I guess Senator Barack Obama, right?

HENAO: Yes, I did. And I know President Obama personally. And he actually made a promise to the Hispanic community that he was going to do immigration reform in the first term. And, obviously, he failed the Hispanic community in that promise.

CAVUTO: Do you like his reform? Do you like his reform efforts or what he's trying to do, or no?

HENAO: Well, I did not like his efforts, because there was really no effort into actually having any immigration reform done in the first two years of the presidency.

So I'm actually very disappointed with the fact that he had a super Congress and wasn't able to actually pass immigration reform.

CAVUTO: All right, we'll be watching your race very, very closely. Thank you for joining us.

HENAO: I appreciate the opportunity for having me on your show, Neil.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much. All right.

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