Rubio Dodges, Cruz Dives, When Pressed About Legal Migration And Americans’ Jobs

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
AP, Reuters

Sen. Marco Rubio crudely dodged the most important question of his entire career, which was asked by a host at the 2016 GOP debate in front of millions of likely GOP voters.

But so did all the other GOP candidates, including Donald Trump, who has built his campaign on the public’s worries about mass-immigration.

“Under current law, the U.S. is on track to issue more new permanent immigrants on green cards over the next five years than the entire population of South Carolina. Your 2013 immigration bill would have increased [legal immigrant] green cardholders by another 10 million over 10 years,” host Maria Bartiromo told Rubio, whose political support has been deeply damaged by his support for the 2013 “Gang of Eight” immigration bill.

“Why are you so interested in opening up borders to foreigners when American workers have a hard enough time finding work?” she asked.

“Well, first of all, this is an issue that’s been debated now for 30 years,” Rubio dodged, before he crudely shifted the subject to Islamic jihad.

“For 30 years, the issue of immigration has been about someone who’s in this country, maybe they’re here illegally, but they’re looking for a job. This issue is not about that anymore. First and foremost, this issue has to be now more than anything else about keeping America safe.”

Rubio’s well-rehearsed getaway prompted guffaws from journalists and advocates, including Roy Beck, the founder of NumbersUSA, a a group that pushes a pro-American reform of immigration laws.

“Instead of dodging & misdirecting, Rubio better off to admit he’s re-thought Gof8 & no longer thinks Am. needs huge immig. increase … but Rubio seems to be assuring us that he has NOT changed his position of doubling legal immig. to 20 million a decade,” Beck also said, via Twitter.

Rubio helped get the gang’s amnesty-and-cheap-labor bill through the Senate in 2013, with massive support from Democrats — including Sen. Chuck Schumer — and many business groups. But public opposition stopped the GOP-majority House — and amnesty enthusiast Rep. Paul Ryan — from passing Rubio’s bill, which would have bumped up total immigration to roughly 30 million over next decade.

That would have been roughly 25 million extra foreign workers, mostly unskilled, most on welfare, arriving during the next 10 years. Forty million Americans will turn 18 during that decade, and they Rubio’s bill would have forced them to compete for jobs and wages against 25 million foreign migrants.

Dan Horowitz, the editor of Conservative Review, noted that the other GOP candidates kept a low-profile, rather than declare if they’re for or against the large-scale legal immigration which has done so much to reduce Americans’ wages for at least 16 years.

Throughout Rubio’s evasions — which included a criticism of Ted Cruz’s shift from a pro-business stance favoring high-immigration, towards a lower-immigration policy – Trump kept quiet. So did Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie, and even Cruz refused to push the conversation back to the original topic of large-scale legal immigration.

But Cruz intervened to ridicule Rubio’s attempt to focus on jihad, saying:

Radical Islamic terrorism was not invented 24 months ago; 24 months ago, we had Al Qaida. We had Boko Haram. We had Hamas. We had Hezbollah. We had Iran putting operatives in South America and Central America. It’s the reason why I stood with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and led the fight to stop the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, because it was clear then, like it’s clear now, that border security is national security.

But Cruz, like Trump, declined to grapple with Bartiromo’s question about the impact of legal immigration — roughly 1 million people per year — on the ability of Americans to get well-paying jobs.

Rubio’s evasion invited merciless ridicule from pro-American and pro-migrant activists.

Author Ann Coulter jumped on Rubio, who continued to push his 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty-cheap-labor bill, even after two migrant jihadis detonated a bomb at the Boston Marathon.

Michelle Malkin, author of a new book on how white-collar Americans are hurt by foreign cheap labor, titled “Sold Out,” also slammed Rubio..

Rubio next tried to defend himself by arguing that Cruz is worse, declaring

Ted Cruz, you used to say you supported doubling the number of green cards, now you say that you’re against it. You used to support a 500 percent increase in the number of [H-1B white-collar} guest workers, now you say that you’re against it. You used to support legalizing people that were here illegally, now you say you’re against it. You used to say that you were in favor of birthright citizenship, now you say that you are against it.

Rubio’s diversionary criticism — however true or false — just produced more jibes from experts.

Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors a reduction in the annual inflow of million migrants and 700,000 guest-workers, also scoffed at Rubio.

Rubio’s escape-and-evasion tactics also inspired some hatred from advocates for foreign migrants, including this tweet from Gabe Ortiz, at the pro-migration group, America’s Voice.