Sen. Marco Rubio admits that immigration reform is a tough challenge for Republicans, but adds that a solution to the problem isn’t necessary before the 2016 elections.
“Those who argue that this will be a bonanza for Republicans are not telling the truth,” the Florida Republican explains in an interview with the New York Times. “Those who argue that we should do it for the purpose of politics are also misanalyzing the issue,” he added.
Rubio, who helped lead the Senate ‘Gang of Eight’ effort to pass an immigration reform bill, admits that many Americans don’t trust their government to properly address the issue in a comprehensive bill.
“[T]here now exists an incredible level of mistrust on anything massive that the government does,” he explained.
During his conversation with the Times, Rubio said that “permanent residency” or a green card for illegal immigrants would allow them to apply for citizenship. He admitted that some in Congress may be willing to support permanent residency without a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants, but he seems to oppose the idea.
“We might prohibit people who came here illegally and got green cards under this process from ever becoming citizens. And if that’s what we have to do to get this thing passed, I would be open to it. But I don’t think that’s a wise thing to do,” he said.
According to the Times, Rubio’s upcoming book “American Dreams” details a more incremental approach to immigration reform beginning with border security.