Marco Rubio’s interview with Meet The Press host Chuck Todd— in which he pledged to allow illegal aliens remain in the U.S.— has received widespread attention.
However, while Politico oxymoronically titled its article “Rubio: Law-Abiding Undocumented Immigrants Could Stay,” perhaps the most striking part of Rubio’s interview was his indication that criminal aliens would be allowed to remain in the United States as well.
Rubio’s Sunday statement in support of criminal aliens is consistent with some of the most controversial aspects of his Gang of Eight bill, which would have allowed convicted criminal aliens— such as sex offenders and gang members— to remain in United States and become U.S. citizens.
Rubio seems to have adopted President Obama’s open borders talking point that only “felons, not families” should be deported. In the exchange, Chuck Todd asked Rubio specifically how he defines the “criminal aliens” who would not be allowed to remain in the country under Rubio’s amnesty.
TODD: Let me ask you by the way quickly on the 11 million, are you still for finding a way for them to legally stay in the United States?
RUBIO: Yeah, look. If you’re a criminal alien, no, you can’t stay. If you’re someone that hasn’t been here for a very long time, you can’t stay.
TODD: Wait a minute. Define criminal alien–
RUBIO: I do believe we have to have a reasonable solution–
TODD: De– define criminal alien. Isn’t anybody who’s here–
RUBIO: A felon. A felon–
TODD: Okay, so not– ’cause some people argue–
RUBIO: Well I know some people have said that before but I believe–
TODD: Okay, all right–
MARCO RUBIO: –the opposite. But– no, but I’ve said that before, Todd. That’s been convinced. I mean, a felon, someone who’s committed a crime, a non-immigration-related– and that’s what I’ve talked about in the past.
Indeed, Sen. Rubio is correct in that this is exactly the position he has articulated in the past: i.e. a broad amnesty for illegal immigrants including those who have committed criminal offenses.
Rubio’s use of the word “felon” means that not only would illegal aliens with criminal misdemeanor convictions be allowed to stay, but presumably also means that those suspected or accused of felonies, but not convicted— i.e. are not yet actually felons— would be allowed to remain as well.
Moreover, Rubio’s declaration that the felony be a “non-immigration-related” crime presumably means that even people who commit immigration felonies—such as repeat illegal re-entry— or those who committed immigration crimes related to document fraud could stay as well.
The principle Rubio is espousing—i.e. the notion that illegal entry is not in and of itself a deportable offense— wipes away the protections U.S. immigration laws are supposed to afford Americans citizens. That’s because, in addition to protecting against crime, U.S. immigration law is supposed to protect against the loss of your job to an illegal immigrant, protect against the sapping of your child’s school resources, protect against the draining of your hospital’s resources, protect your tax dollars, and protect your political system and voting franchise (giving citizenship to illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children allows them to cancel out the votes of native-born American citizens).
Under Rubio’s vision, millions of people could presumably illegally take jobs, petition for government services, fill U.S. schools, receive affirmative action, alter the country culturally, socially and politically, and be involved in substantial criminal activity so long as they don’t get don’t get caught, tried and convicted for a non-immigration related felony.
This principle is a central pillar of the open borders philosophy, which desires the free, uninhibited movement of labor across international boundaries.
Rubio’s amnesty for illegal aliens involved in criminal activity is consistent with the text of the Gang of Eight bill. As border sheriffs and representatives for ICE and USCIS officers explained in a 2013 letter to members of Congress: Section 2101 of Rubio’s immigration bill “explicitly opens this legal status to those with long criminal records, gang affiliations, felony arrests, and those with multiple misdemeanor criminal convictions… In many states, misdemeanor crimes include serious offenses such as assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, vehicular homicide, possession of drug manufacturing equipment, unlawful placing or discharging of an explosive device, DUI, and sex offenses.”
As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York explained more recently in his piece entitled, “The immigration system Rubio wanted”:
The legislation forbade the legalization of immigrants who had been convicted of a felony or of three or more misdemeanors. But there were some big exceptions.
First, if breaking the immigration laws was an “essential element” of any criminal conviction, it wouldn’t count. Second, the bill said the three misdemeanors that could disqualify an immigrant would count as three misdemeanors only “if the alien was convicted on different dates for each of the three offenses.” That meant that in the case of a person accused of multiple misdemeanors, and convicted of them during a single court session — a fairly common occurrence — the multiple convictions would count as just one conviction for the purposes of the Gang of Eight bill. Given that in some U.S. jurisdictions, some cases of vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving, domestic violence, sex offenses and theft are all categorized as misdemeanors, an illegal immigrant could be convicted of multiple serious crimes and still stay in the country. Finally, Rubio gave the Secretary of Homeland Security broad authority to issue waivers to criminal immigrants. ‘The secretary may waive [the misdemeanor and other requirements] on behalf of an alien for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest,’ the bill said. That could mean almost anything.
In theory, this would mean– consistent with the text of the Gang of Eight bill– that a child sex offender who has been in the country for, say, twenty years—could not be deported until the government obtained a successful conviction, which could involve an elaborate and costly sting operation, enormous court expenses, translator costs, and a successful guilty verdict.
As Breitbart News has previously explained, it is difficult to obtain a guilty conviction for criminal felons— especially those who are a part of the illegal immigrant community.
According to a report from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, less than half (48.9 percent) of violent felony arrests in New York City result in conviction and sentence. Nationally, less than 2 in 3 murder cases result in the suspect even being arrested, let alone convicted. According to police data analyzed by the Washington Post, in Washington D.C. only 1 in 3 homicides results in a conviction.
Experts have suggested that low crime-to-conviction rates are even more exaggerated amongst immigrant communities—and in particular, the illegal immigrant population. As acclaimed Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has noted, “In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.” This suggests that illegal aliens who are found, arrested and convicted of a felony only represents a fraction of illegal aliens who evaded conviction through any one of a number of ways including fleeing the jurisdiction or being shielded by large transnational gangs like MS-13. As the liberal-leaning National Public Radio has explained: “Since at least the 1980s, police have complained about a growing ‘no snitch’ culture, especially in minority communities. They say the reluctance of potential witnesses makes it hard to identify suspects.”
As one GOP aide told Breitbart News, “The deportation of a convicted criminal alien is not a success story but means immigration laws were enforced much too late. The purpose of immigration law is to protect Americans before, not after, they or a loved one have been robbed, assaulted or killed… We should not have to wait until an innocent American has been victimized to afford them the protection of their immigration laws; aliens do not have a right to operate illegally in the United States until some kind of additional conviction has been obtained.”
Populist thought leader Sen. Jeff Sessions has previously explained the position articulated by Sen. Rubio will result in only more American mothers being forced to bury their children:
No parent should ever have to bury a child because we failed to keep violent criminals out of the country or failed to deport them once they were in the country. Protecting the lives of innocent Americans is one of the most basic duties of the federal government. Our goal should be to keep 100% of dangerous aliens out of the United States. There is no delicate balancing act here: we need to remove potentially violent offenders before they hurt innocent families—before the irreversible occurs. Foreign nationals cycling in and out of prisons and jails are by definition a high-risk population. Releasing “low-level” criminal aliens from jails ensures only one thing: more opportunities for innocent Americans to get hurt—and more mothers burying more children.
Indeed, as Don Rosenberg– whose 25-year-old son, Andrew, was repeatedly run over by an illegal alien as he sought to flee the scene of the crime– has explained, many illegal immigrants have been caught for previous crimes prior to their murdering American citizens. In a 2014 letter to President Obama, Rosenberg wrote:
Roberto Galo had been caught driving without a license shortly before he killed my son but his car was impounded for 18 hours (state law requires 30 days) and then the charges were dropped… Glenn Vierra was killed by Jorge Valencia-Figueroa who had been caught driving without a license four times before killing Vierra. He was never considered a threat to public safety even after he killed Vierra as he was only charged with a misdemeanor.
Similarly, illegal alien Olga Franco, who was responsible for a 2008 school bus crash near Cottonwood, Minnesota that resulted in the death for four school children, was driving without a license and had been accused of using stolen social security numbers— an “immigration-related” crime that would seem to be excused under Rubio’s amnesty. Franco had been pulled over a month prior to the accident, but was not deported. Under Rubio’s amnesty vision, Franco– who prior to killing four Americans was not a felon– would presumably be allowed to stay, as would countless others like her. As the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported at the time:
One mother said she missed the sound of her little girl playing piano. Another said her surviving daughters used to play ‘wedding’ with their dolls; now they play ‘funeral.’ Both said the Feb. 19 school bus crash that killed four children and injured 16 others near Cottonwood also killed an innocence that will never return… Franco, 24, was convicted in August of four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and 17 counts of criminal vehicular injury in the crash that killed 9-year-old Hunter and 13-year-old Jesse Javens, Emilee Olson, 9, and Reed Stevens, 12. To the end, the illegal immigrant from Guatemala claimed her boyfriend was driving the minivan that ran a stop sign and broadsided the Lakeview School District bus on Minnesota 23. The boyfriend, Francisco Sangabriel-Mendoza, a 29-year-old illegal immigrant, has since fled to his native Mexico, authorities say… During the 2 1/2-hour hearing, families of the children killed in the crash addressed Franco, detailing their suffering in the following months… Franco sat, unmoving, next to her attorney during the eight victim statements. She listened to a Spanish interpretation through headphones.
In a Congressional hearing dedicated to the families who lost loved ones thanks to illegal aliens, Laura Wilkerson testified that lawmakers ought to defend the interests of their American constituents— not illegal aliens. Wilkerson’s 18 year-old son Joshua was murdered by his illegal classmate Hermilo Moralez. Moralez is likely to have qualified for amnesty under Rubio’s plan to legalize illegal immigrants who allegedly came to the country as minors. Sen. Rubio continues to support amnesty for so-called DREAMers—even going so far as saying that a President Rubio would not “immediately revoke” President Obama’s unconstitutional 2012 executive amnesty. Wilkerson told members of Congress:
You cannot you cannot stand by and ignore our families — our American families. You’re elected by Americans, not any other country. You should be for Americans.
In contrast to Rubio’s support for allowing illegal criminal aliens to remain the country, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he would deport aliens unlawfully residing in the United States.
Wilkerson said that she was grateful for the attention Donald Trump’s to families like hers and his desire to promote the needs of American citizens above foreign nationals who have violated our immigration laws:
I thank you, Mr. Trump for getting a message out about the nation… that countless families like my own have been trying to say for five to six years. It feels good to be heard.
When Breitbart News spoke to Wilkerson and asked if Sen. Rubio had ever reached out to her, she said, “No, and I don’t think [he] ever will. We’re on the opposite spectrum of their agenda.”