Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio conceded that the border security provisions in the Gang of 8 Senate bill aren’t sufficient to win passage for the bill. He sidestepped a question on whether he would support the current bill without tightened border security, arguing he was optimistic a deal could be reached.
Acknowledging recent criticism of the Senate bill, Rubio said, “I think they have pointed to valid criticisms of how the border security plan is structured in the bill, and quite frankly very reasonable ways to address it.”
“A bill that does not have increased border security, which everyone now I think has conceded needs to happen — I think the debate now is about what that border security provision looks like. And if we do that, this bill will have strong bipartisan support,” Rubio said. “If we fail, we’re going to keep trying, because at the end of the day, the only way we’re going to pass an immigration reform law out of the House and Senate so the president can sign it is, that it has real border security measures within it.”
Last week, the Senate, with Rubio’s support, rejected an amendment from Sen. Chuck Grassley that would have required the border is secure before the legalization process begins for the 11-12 million illegals in the country. This week, the Senate will likely consider an amendment from Sen. John Cornyn that would allow legalization to proceed, but delay a “path to citizenship” until the border is certified as secure.
Rubio had initially signaled support for Cornyn’s amendment, but sources on Capitol Hill tell Breitbart News that he is now opposed to at least the initial draft of the amendment.
As Rubio admits, concerns about the border security provisions in the current bill are valid. These concerns do not arise from a desire to scuttle immigration reform in general, but to ensure that the nation doesn’t have to revisit the issue again in a few years.
Supporters of the Senate bill are presenting a false choice to lawmakers and the public. One either supports the bill as currently drafted or one is against any kind of immigration reform. Rubio himself admitted as much. “And to top it all off, when you mention any of these things, you are accused of being anti-immigrant or anti-Hispanic.”