Presidential candidate Marco Rubio was moved to tears as Pope Francis reminded lawmakers that many of them are, like Rubio and the Pope himself, descended from immigrants.
The Pope’s call comes at a time when a record high 42.4 million U.S. residents are foreign born.
In his address, Pope Francis declared:
We must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible… Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War… On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities… We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Increasing immigration has been a important issue for Senator Rubio throughout his entire career.
In 2012, Rubio worked on his own version of a DREAM amnesty bill, which would extend birthright citizenship to foreign youths illegally residing in the country.
In 2013, Rubio co-authored and ushered through the Senate an immigration bill—praised by La Raza, President Obama and the Chamber of Commerce— that would have admitted 33 million new immigrants in the course of a single decade.
In 2015, Rubio introduced a bill that would essentially lift the university green card caps and triple the number of guest workers admitted on H-1B visas to replace American workers at lower costs.
And just this month, Rubio announced his support for importing even more Muslim refugees into the country, whom experts say we will not be able to be vetted.