George Will: Path To Citizenship Will Be Necessary To 'Sustain Welfare State'

George Will: Path To Citizenship Will Be Necessary To 'Sustain Welfare State'

JONATHAN KARL, SUBSTITUTE HOST: George, right to you. You heard a debate among Republicans on immigration. Which side should the Republican Party come down on?

GEORGE WILL: Every conservative sympathizes with what Jeff Sessions was saying about not rewarding law breaking. However, conservatism begins with facing facts. The facts are that of the 11 million people who are here illegally, two-thirds have been here a decade or more, 30 percent, 15 years or more. They’re woven into our society. They’re not leaving. And the American people would not tolerate the police measures necessary to extract them from our community. Therefore, the great consensus has to be on the details of a path to citizenship.

The most important thing Rubio said in your interview was, even if the system weren’t broken, if you had no illegal immigrants, we’d still need to do something about this because we need the workers. As the baby boomers retire, and as the birthrate declines, we need something to replenish the workforce to sustain the welfare state.

KARL: The framing from Rubio was interesting, saying we really already have amnesty. Nobody’s prosecuting the undocumented immigrants here now.

RUTH MARCUS, WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely, I want to say I’m going to really enjoy saying this next sentence. I completely agree with every syllable that George Will just said. And I think that the stars are in alignment for many of the reasons that he said.