In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, presidential candidate Rand Paul slams donor-class favorite Marco Rubio for his continued support for open borders immigration policies, and implied that Rubio is simply too extreme to be the party’s nominee.
“I think this is Rubio’s greatest weakness,” Paul said. “He’s for open borders.”
Paul explained that on immigration, “Rubio is way out of step with what the American people want.”
Indeed, 92 percent of the GOP electorate, according to Pew, would like to see future projected immigration growth reduced. However, Rubio has repeatedly voted and expressed his desire to expand immigration on top of today’s all-time highs.
In 2013, Rubio co-authored and ushered through the Senate, the La-Raza backed Gang of Eight bill that would issue 33 million new green cards in the elapse of a single decade. The bill would also make it possible for President Obama to bring in far more refugees, according to analysis from both the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz. Moreover, earlier this year, Rubio introduced the I-Squared bill which would substantially expand visa programs favored by Muslim migrants.
According to a recent YouGov/Economist poll, 62 percent of Americans– including 55 percent of blacks, 66 percent of women and 63 percent of Hispanics– do not believe the U.S. should admit Muslim Syrian refugees. However, Rubio voted against Paul’s amendment to pause immigration from Muslim nations with jihadist movements. Rubio has also repeatedly expressed support for bringing in Syrian refugees.
Paul explained that Rubio’s support for open borders undermines Rubio’s attempt to portray himself as a national defense hawk.
“He is weak on national security because he won’t secure our border,” Paul said.
“I don’t think you can be for strong national defense if you’re not willing to defend border,” Paul explained.
His position on this contradicts everything that he’s trying to do to promote himself as a national security conservative… I think when you ask Republican voters and Independents, “do we need to have more scrutiny?” [Rubio] is on the wrong side of the issue. It will make it difficult for him to portray himself as a national security conservative. We need to defend our borders without question.
This concern has similarly been articulated by conservative columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter. Coulter has mocked Rubio on Twitter, writing, “Rubio’s plan for Middle East stability: Start more wars & then import all the displaced terrorists into the U.S.”
Senator Paul explained that the nation needs to reconsider its policy of vast visa issuances:
Almost all of the terror attacks [since 9/11] have involved people who came here through our immigration system. All 19 of the 9/11 attackers had visas, the Boston Bombers came here through political asylum, the Iraqi refugees in my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and most recently in San Bernardino… We’re not talking about illegal immigration, this is a lack of scrutiny for legal immigration. We need more scrutiny of legal immigration.
Each year, the U.S. issues about one million green cards. About 9 in 10 green cards are issued to migrants in Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East— with the latter being one of the fastest-growing categories of migration.
Paul also pointed back to what he painted as Rubio’s allegiance to progressives rather than conservatives on Rubio’s single most significant legislative achievement in Congress: ushering the Obama-backed immigration bill through the Senate.
“In his bill with Schumer, [Rubio worked against my efforts] to increase scrutiny for refugees, student visas. His allegiance to Schumer blocked out all conservative amendments at the time.”
Notably, McCain and Graham had not been able to pass their immigration increase and amnesty plan in 2007. Rubio’s involvement as salesman for the 2013 bill— which garnered more progressive support than the 2007 bill— made it possible to push the agenda through the Senate.
The liberal website, Mother Jones, recently used its connections in Democratic offices to report on their view of Rubio’s involvement in the Gang of Eight fight. The article states that Rubio “gave in” to Democrats like Chuck Schumer on the immigration bill. Democratic aides told the liberal publication that Rubio even allowed previously-deported aliens to return to the United States. One Democratic aide told Mother Jones that Rubio was not interested in substance, but in pushing the bill through: “It was always, for him [Rubio], about ‘how do I sell this?’…It was much more about the marketing perspective, and he was very open in saying that.”
Today, Rubio’s prominent backers include billionaire Larry Ellison and Paul Singer, both of whom back a more expansive immigration policy.
According to Pew Research, even without the immigration expansions proposed by Rubio, immigration will grow the U.S. population 103 million over the next five decades.
The population of pivotal primary state New Hampshire is 1.3 million.