In the brief immigration section of Thursday night’s debate, Chris Wallace asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) if he agreed with Donald Trump that criminals were coming across the border. Rubio ignored the question about documented illegal alien criminality and declared that he believes, “we need a fence,” as well as an “e-verify and entry-exit tracking system.”
Rubio’s comments, however, conflict with several crucial votes he cast on the Gang of Eight bill that he co-authored with Chuck Schumer, which was endorsed by La Raza, President Obama, and the Chamber of Commerce. The legislation would have issued more than 30 million green cards in ten years.
When the Schumer-Rubio bill hit the Senate floor, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) offered an amendment to required the completion of a border fence. Sen. Rubio joined all members of the Gang in voting against Thune’s amendment, which failed.
Similarly, the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill did not require the immediate implementation e-verify. As the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reported at the time, Rubio’s immigration bill, “delays implementation of E-Verify to appease big business and illegal workers. The bill provides that mandatory E-Verify won’t go into effect for all employers until four years after DHS issues regulations implementing the mandatory program. That means (based on the amnesty timeframe) it could be at least a decade before E-Verify becomes mandatory for large companies and 14 years before all employers are phased into the program.” An amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley—which would have required e-verify be implemented within 18 months—was killed in committee and was, therefore, not present in the bill Rubio pushed successfully through the Senate.
Likewise, with respect to the implementation exit-entry tracking system, Sen. Rubio voted against an amendment offered by Sen. Vitter (R-LA), which would require the implementation of exit-entry tracking system in order to prevent foreign nationals from illegally overstaying their visas.
Rubio’s decision not to comment on alien crime comes at the same time as an illegal alien from Mexico pled guilty to murder after strangling a woman and setting her body on fire. Rubio has previously been criticized by ICE officers for being soft on alien crime and being less than forthright about it.
As the president of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement union Chris Crane wrote at in 2013: “Senator Rubio left unchanged legislation that he himself admitted to us in private was detrimentally flawed and must be changed… As a result, the 1,200 page substitute bill before the Senate will provide instant legalization and a path to citizenship to gang members and other dangerous criminal aliens.”
Rubio concluded his answer at tonight’s debate by telling the audience that we needed an immigration system that better serves the needs of foreigners living on other countries: “Let me tell you who never get talked about in these debates: the people who call my office, waiting 15 years to come to the United States. They’ve paid their fees, hired a lawyer and they’re wondering if they should come in illegally.”
Rubio’s comment suggests that it is difficult to immigrate to the United States. But the opposite is true, 3/4ths of the 42 million immigrants living in the United States were legally allowed to come from foreign countries and permanently reside here, vote here, and collect federal benefits.
Further, as Breitbart News exclusively reported, another 10 million new permanent legal immigrants will be added to the U.S. within a decade, solely as a result of our green card policy—more new permanent residents than live in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.
Most of these new migrants admitted to the country are coming from poor countries. In 2013, we added nearly five times more immigrants on green cards from Pakistan (13,251) than Australia (2,759). We added nearly six times more immigrants on green cards from El Salvador (18,260) than Italy (2,960). And we issued more than 10 times more green cards to Mexicans (135,028) than Brits, Scots, and Northern Irish (12,984). In recent years, about one out of every seven new legal immigrants is from Mexico, and about 9 out of every 10 new immigrants brought into the country on green cards is from Latin America, Africa, Asia, or the Middle East.
As Reihan Salam writes in the National Review: “As of 2013, there were 17.4 million children in the United States living with at least one immigrant parent, or roughly 25 percent of all American children. That number is expected to climb to 30 percent by 2018.”
While Rubio stressed the need for an immigration solution that helps foreign nationals in other lands, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, in his response, argued that the United States needs to adopt an immigration policy that prioritizes the needs of the American workers and their American families. Walker declared: “Secure the border, no amnesty and go forward with a legal immigration system that gives priority to the American people and wages.”