Marco Rubio: Obama and Republicans Have 'Irreconcilable Differences' on Immigration
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) believes that President Obama has made it impossible to pass any kind of immigration reform in the Republican-led House of Representatives.
“I think this administration has probably reached the point of irreconcilable differences with regards to trust, particularly among Republicans,” Rubio explained during a conversation at a Texas Tribune event on Tuesday.
Rubio pointed out that Obama’s abuse of executive power, particularly in the decision not to enforce immigration laws, was a crucial error. He characterized it as "extremely problematic" to any consensus.
Rubio admitted that the comprehensive approach to immigration reform had failed, stating that in the current political climate, it would be difficult to get any comprehensive approach to anything done.
“There is a true distaste--and rightfully so--for comprehensive pieces of legislation,” he said.
Rubio explained that he believed that immigration would always have to be addressed in a sequential process.
“It doesn’t happen all at once, but I think it’s a lot better than continuing to go in circles here, and this all-or-nothing approach that for 14 years has led to nothing.”
He suggested that Americans might be able to agree on strengthening the legal system of immigration, improving enforcement, and finding a way to offer stability for illegal immigrants.
“If you ask people that are here illegally right now, the thing they most want is the ability to have some level of legal status so they can work and pay taxes and get on with their lives,” he stated. “Citizenship is something that politicians talk a lot about because some view it as a pathway to voting.”
Rubio acknowledged that another key hurdle was that the federal government was already ignoring immigration laws--which causes many Americans to be doubtful that they will ever enforce the law.
“In 1986, they passed an immigration reform bill and three million people were legalized. And they never did the enforcement part, and three million became twelve million,” Rubio said. “And that’s an argument we need to have an answer for because it is a legitimate point that is raised.”