Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) predicts that a bill aimed at reducing illegal immigration endorsed by President Trump will not gain enough votes to pass the Senate.
“That bill’s not going to pass. … I think the White House knows that you don’t have 60 votes for that in the Senate,” Rubio told CBS Miami.
Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), and Trump introduced the bill last week called the RAISE Act, which would overhaul our current legal immigration system into a “merit-based” points system, not unlike systems already in place in countries such as Canada and Australia.
The system prioritizes prospective legal immigrants with sought-after skills, education, or English language proficiency and would curb the number of green cards issued each year.
Despite Trump’s promise to reform immigration and polls that show public support for a merit-based immigration system, the measure needs 60 votes to pass the Senate without a filibuster.
Rubio, who led the fight for amnesty for DREAMers, or children of illegal aliens allowed to come to the U.S. under the DREAM Act, said he opposes the cap on the number of people who can come to the U.S. with a green card.
“Where I probably have a big difference of opinion with this bill is that it sets an arbitrary cap on the number of people that are able to come through with a green card. I don’t think that should be an arbitrary cap, that number should be driven by demand,” Rubio said.
Rubio was part of the “Gang of Eight,” a group of eight senators who pushed for legislation that would provide amnesty for illegal aliens in 2013 without a clear timeline of when immigration laws would start to be enforced.
Rubio said the 2013 proposal for legal immigration also had a merit-based points system but did not go as far as the RAISE Act.
“In 2013, the very controversial “Gang of Eight,” four Democrats and four Republicans, proposed moving legal immigration to a merit-based system,” Rubio said. “It wouldn’t be entirely merit-based, but it would be more merit-based and it has to be in the 21st century.”