Marco Rubio on Immigration

Republican Florida Senator


Child separation policy at border is simply un-American

Q: President Trump raised the issue off the return of the family separation policy:

(BEGIN VIDEO) TRUMP: They come in illegally and in many cases the children aren't theirs. If they feel there will be separation, they don't come.

(END VIDEO) Q: Is the president making a mistake here?

FLAKE: Yes, he is. We shouldn't bring that policy back. That simply is un-American and I think everybody recognized that. The president seemed to. So I hope that we don't return to that policy.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Oct 14, 2018

Children are trafficked into US illegally by criminal groups

Q: The president tweeted that he thinks it is a "horrible law" to separate illegal immigrants from their children. Do you agree?

RUBIO: The ideal scenario is that families be kept together and return expeditiously back to their country of origin. America is the most generous country in the world. And, ideally, you wouldn't put people through additional trauma once they came into the US.

Q: Will you try to change that law?

RUBIO: I would be open to changing that law. But the better law to change is to secure our border and to send a clear message that you cannot continue to enter the US illegally. It is actually inhumane not to secure our border, because we are sending out a message that is encouraging people to come here. A lot of these people that are crossing with children are being trafficked here. They are being brought here by criminal groups that help guide them and often take advantage of them. And the ability to cross that border is a magnet that is drawing this behavior.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , May 27, 2018

My parents immigrated on family connections; but stop that

CRUZ: The Democrats support illegal immigration because they view those illegal immigrants as potential voters and far too many of the Republicans view it as cheap labor.

RUBIO: When you talk about the millions of green cards that are coming in, those aren't actually workers at all. They are just coming in primarily based on family connection. And let me tell you, when my parents came in 1956, I acknowledge that my parents came to the U.S. on a family-based system. The problem is nothing looks like it did 60 years ago. But today in the 21st Century, 60 years later, finding jobs when you don't have skills is very difficult. We need to move to a merit- based system of immigration, not just on H-1B, particularly on green cards. The primary criteria for bringing someone from abroad in the 21st Century should be, what skills do you have? What business are you going to open? What investment are you going to make? What job are you going to be able to do when you arrive?

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

45% of the problem is visa over-stays

When I'm president, before we do anything on immigration, we are going to secure the border. And, that's not just the physical border with Mexico, it's visa overstays. That's 45 percent of the problem. That's why we need e-verify, and entry-exit tracking system, and so-forth. Until that happens, we're not doing anything else. Then we'll see what the American people are willing to support.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is unconstitutional

Q: DACA is a program that has protected young people, brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrants.

RUBIO: DACA is an executive order that is unconstitutional. I will cancel it on my first day in office, which means people who currently hold those permits will not be allowed to renew them, and new people will not be allowed to apply for them. I am sympathetic to the plight of someone who came here when they were 2 years old, but you can't solve it doing something that is unconstitutional.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

If we don't know who you are, you don't get into America

This president has consistently underestimated the threat of ISIS. They are radicalizing people in the United States, they are conducting attacks around the world. So you know what needs to happen, it's a very simple equation, and it's going to happen when I'm president. If we do not know who you are, and we do not know why you are coming, you are not getting into the United States of America.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Bar any company abusing H1 visas from future visas

Q: You support dramatically increasing immigration visas called H1B, for workers with special skills. But Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) says the tech industry uses this program to undercut hiring and wages for highly qualified Americans. Why is he wrong?

RUBIO: If a company gets caught doing that, they should never be able to use the program again. But we also need to add reforms, not just increase the numbers. For example, before you hire anyone from abroad, you should have to advertise that job for 180 days. You also have to prove that you're not undercutting that you would pay [an American] by bringing in cheap labor.

Q: It sounds like you think Sen. Sessions is wrong to believe there is abuse in that program?

RUBIO: Well, I believe that there are abuses; those companies should be permanently barred from ever using the program again and we should put strict standards in place to ensure that they're not being abused, like the prevailing wage requirement and like the advertising requirement.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Change from family-based system to skills-based

Today, we have a legal immigration system for permanent residency that is largely based on whether you have a relative living here. That's the way my parents came legally in 1956.

But in 2015, we have a very different economy. Our legal immigration system from now on has to be merit-based. It has to be based on what skills you have, what you can contribute economically, & most important of all, on whether or not you're coming here to become an American, not just live in America, but be an American.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Replace family-based system with economic contribution

First, we must secure our border with a wall. We also need to have an entry/exit tracking system. 40% of the people who come here illegally come legally, and then overstay the visa. We need a mandatory e-verify system. Step two would be to modernize our legal immigration system so you come to America on the basis of what you can contribute economically, not whether or not simply you have a relative living here. If you're a criminal, obviously, you will not be able to stay.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Legal immigrants have been waiting in line for 15 years

I believe we need a fence. The problem is if El Chapo builds a tunnel under the fence, we have to be able to deal with that too. And that's why you need an E-verify system and you need an entry-exit tracking system and all sorts of other things to prevent illegal immigration.

But I agree that people are frustrated. This is the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration, but people feel like we're being taken advantage of. We feel like despite our generosity, we're being taken advantage of.

And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates. The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they've paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can't get in. And they're wondering, maybe they should come illegally. It's a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and otherwise we're going to keep talking about this for the next 30 years, like we have for the last 30 years.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Human trafficking law & deferred action caused border crisis

Q: House Republicans passed two measures, one to make it easier to deport those unaccompanied minors on the border, the other to block the president from deferring any more deportations. Isn't the GOP giving the country the "impression that its highest policy priority is to deport children"?

RUBIO: Well, I don't think that's an accurate assessment. We have an unsustainable situation on the border. The only way to address that is to address the root causes: a combination of violence, instability & poverty in Central America. But it's also, according to the president of Honduras, ambiguities in our laws--beginning in 2008 with a very well-intentioned law to prevent human trafficking--and then it continued in 2012 with the president's deferred action program. Those two things have allowed trafficking groups to go into Central America and tell people that America has some special law that's going to allow them to come here and stay, and that's serving as a lure that's driving this crisis.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 3, 2014

Give kids of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates

Recent moves by key party figures suggest agreement on broad principles, but still no consensus about what specific policies Republicans should champion.

Gov. Chris Christie parted with many of his fellow Republicans by signing a Democratic-backed law that would allow immigrants in the state illegally to qualify for in-state tuition rates. Christie argued it was common sense for the government to help immigrant children obtain college educations in order to maximize its investment.

Source: 2013 Los Angeles Times on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 8, 2014

Border control: 90% apprehension and 100% surveillance

Q: The "Gang of 8" plan has a tough border enforcement component: 90% apprehension, 100% surveillance. How far are we from that now on our border?

RUBIO: It's important to understand, there is no one border. The border is broken into nine different sectors. In some sectors, that's probably being achieved today. But in others, it's not. At least three sectors are far from that number. And that's what the number needs to come up to. If [one sector] fails to reach our metric, then it will be turned over to a border commission made up of local officials from those states most impacted. They will have money set aside so they can solve it for those people themselves. So, we're confident it's achievable. But it's not just border security. E-Verify is part of this bill, a universal E-Verify. Another critical component is the entry/exit tracking system, because 40 percent of illegal immigrants are people that came legally and they overstayed. You have all three working together.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interviews 2016 Presidential Hopefuls , Apr 14, 2013

Immigration is a human issue AND a law & order issue

Perhaps more than any other public policy issue, one's position on immigration often depends on one's encounters with immigrants. And certainly no public policy directly touches a greater number of lives than immigration. In a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials, Sen. Rubio made this point very eloquently:

"The people who are against illegal immigration and make that the core of their argument view it only as a law and order issue. But we know it's much more than that. Yes, it is a law & order issue, but it's also a human issue. These are real people. These are human beings who have children, and hopes, and dreams. These are people that are doing what virtually any of us would do if our children were hungry, if their countries were dangerous, if they had no hope for their future. And too often in our conversation about immigration that perspective is lost. Who among us would not do whatever it took to feed our children and provide for them a better future?"

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.146-147 , Mar 5, 2013

English is de facto official language; let's recognize that

Virtually every important document in the US is written in English. English has been the predominant language since we were 13 separate colonies. It is our de facto official language, and I don't think there is anything wrong with recognizing that fact. Some people argue that declaring English to be our official language would prohibit other languages from being spoken in this country. But the government can't tell you what language to speak at home.

I think everyone should learn other languages. Knowledge of foreign languages is economically empowering and culturally rewarding. But English is our unifying language. We can all speak whatever language we like here. But we should have one language in common. Some critics argue that it's nativist or racist to support English as our official language. I think that's absurd. Learning to speak English is more than a sign of respect from immigrants for their new country. Knowledge of English is necessary to the economic progress and social assimilation.

Source: An American Son, by Marco Rubio, p.265 , Jun 19, 2012

AZ anti-immigrant law demands papers like "police state"

Rubio stuck to the strategy of courting the right wing of the national party, even though it became increasingly complicated to pull off at times. In April he likened a proposed Arizona law that allowed authorities to stop people and demand their immigration papers to a "police state." Latino activists decried the proposal as racial profiling.

But the measure was popular with the tea party activists and the Republican Party's right wing. Rubio chose the website Human Events, which was influential with the party's most conservative faction, to clarify his remarks in May 2010. The bill had been changed slightly to say that authorities could not "solely consider race" when asking for documents. Latino activists still considered the measure unsavory, but Rubio told Human Events he thought the revised bill "hit the right notes" and suggested he would have voted for it.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.163-164 , Jun 19, 2012

OpEd: Claimed falsely that parents fled Castro in 1959

In 2009, Rubio stated that his parents came from Cuba in 1959, but he also said that his mother returned to Cuba in 1960 to care for his grandfather after he was "hit by a bus." "When the time came to come home, the Cuban government wouldn't let her, Rubio said. "They would let my sister come because she was a US citizen, but they wouldn't let my brother and my mom come. And they would go to the airport every day for 9 months waiting to be let go, and then finally were able to come."

It was a dramatic story, but it wasn't supported by the documents. The Cuban passport of Rubio's mother showed she was never in the country for a 9 month period in the 1960's. The year of her return was also different--1960 instead of 1961.

Some Rubio allies argued that there was no difference between Cubans who came to the US before Castro and those who came afterward. Others pointed out that there were clear political advantages for Rubio in portraying himself as the son of parents who fled Castro.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.230-231 , Jun 19, 2012

Legal status, but not citizenship, to migrant's children

In spring 2012, Rubio revealed that he was developing a different version of the Dream Act that would grant legal status but not citizenship to migrants who were brought to the US as children and later enrolled in college or joined the military. Talking about the idea once again positioned Rubio as a leading Hispanic voice in the US. "I think the vast majority of Americans understand that if you were 4 years of when you were brought here, you grew up in this country your whole life, and you're now a valedictorian of a high school or are a high-achieving academic person, and have much to contribute to our future--I think most Americans, the vast majority of Americans, find that compelling and want to accommodate that."
Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.239 , Jun 19, 2012

AZ law may unreasonably single out some citizens

States certainly have the right to enact policies to protect their citizens, but Arizona's policy shows the difficulty and limitations of states trying to act piecemeal to solve what is a serious federal problem. From what I have read in news reports, I do have concerns about this legislation. While I don't believe Arizona's policy was based on anything other than trying to get a handle on our broken borders, I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with 'reasonable suspicion,' are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position. It could also unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens. Throughout American history and throughout this administration we have seen that when government is given an inch it takes a mile.
Source: Talking Points Memo coverage of 2010 Florida Senate debate , Apr 27, 2010

Don't count illegal immigrants in the 2010 census

Rubio may have the experts on his side but there are political risks in Florida, just as there were when he disagreed with Crist and said illegal immigrants should not be counted in the 2010 census. That stance could cost the state millions in federal aid to cover services.
Source: St. Petersburg Times on 2010 Florida Senate debate , Apr 7, 2010

Allow children of illegals to pay in-state college tuition

Q: You say that you're against amnesty for illegals, but critics point out that as Speaker, you didn't bring to the floor several bills that would have cracked down on illegals and on employers who hire them. And you voted for a bill that would have allowed the children of illegals to pay the same college tuition as in-state residents.

RUBIO: The only place those bills ever got a hearing was on the floor of the House, and they didn't advance because the Senate didn't want to advance them. Gov. Crist didn't have an interest in them as well.

CRIST: I had an interest in them. How can you say what my interest was?

RUBIO: Well, I never saw you speak out.

Q: But you didn't bring several of these bills to the floor?

RUBIO: Well, they never go out of their committees.

Q: Some critics say you could have done more.

RUBIO: Well, we gave it a hearing. The support wasn't there among the membership at the time, & they were focused at that time on some very serious challenges in a 60-day session.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate , Mar 28, 2010

No amnesty in any form, not even back-of-the-line

The Republican Party, unfortunately, has been cast as the anti-illegal immigration party. It is not the anti-illegal immigration party. It is the pro-legal immigration party.

Having a legal immigration system that works begins with border security. That's not enough; about 1/3 of the folks in this country illegally enter legally & they overstay visas. So we've got to deal with that issue as well.

We've got to deal with the employment aspect of it, because the vast majority of people who enter thi country illegally do so in search of jobs, and jobs are being provided to them. So we need some level of verification system so that employers are required to verify the employment status of their folks.

As far as amnesty, that's where the governor and I disagree. He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong. If you grant amnesty, in any form, whether it's back of the line or so forth, you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2010 Florida primary Senate debate , Mar 28, 2010

Oppose amnesty in any reform

Legal immigration has been a great source of strength and prosperity for America, but I believe illegal immigration threatens the foundation of this system. If I had been in the Senate at the time, I would have opposed the McCain-Kennedy bill. I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing the border, fixing the visa and entry process and opposing amnesty in any reform.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.marcorubio.com, "Issues" , Feb 3, 2010

Marco Rubio on Comprehensive Reform

Amnesty means no consequences; I was never for that

Gov. Jeb BUSH: The majority of people that come to this country come because they have no choice. They're not all rapists. These are people coming to provide for their families.

Sen. Ted CRUZ: When Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer were leading the fight to pass a massive amnesty plan, I led the fight to defeat that plan. There is a difference between Senator Rubio and me on this question.

RUBIO: Amnesty is the forgiveness of a wrongdoing without consequence and I've never supported that. The only way to make progress on immigration is not just to pass a law that enforces the law, but actually prove that it's working. People want to see the wall built. They want to see additional border agents. They want to see e-verify. They want to see an entry-exit tracking system. After that is in place, then we'll see what people are willing to support.

Donald TRUMP: I don't often agree with Marco, and I don't often agree with Ted, but I can in this case. The weakest person on illegal immigration is Jeb Bush.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

In 2013, refugees were fleeing oppression; not like Syrians

Sen. Ted CRUZ [to Rubio]: One of the most troubling aspects of the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight Bill [comprehensive immigration reform of 2013] was that it gave President Obama blanket authority to admit refugees, including Syrian refugees, without mandating any background checks whatsoever. Now we've seen what happened in San Bernardino. When you are letting people in, when the FBI can't vet them, it puts American citizens at risk.

RUBIO: In 2013 we had never faced a crisis like the Syrian refugee crisis now. Up until that point, a refugee meant someone fleeing oppression, fleeing Communism like it is in my community. I think what's important for us to understand and there is a way forward on this issue that we and bring our country together on. And while I'm president I will do it. And it will begin by bringing illegal immigration under control and proving to the American people.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican debate on Syrian Refugees , Dec 15, 2015

2013 lessons: do necessities first; then get to citizenship

Q: You co-authored a bill with Democrats two years ago that allowed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Do you still support that path to citizenship?

RUBIO: Here's what we learned in 2013. The American people don't trust the Federal Government to enforce our immigration laws, and we will not be able to do anything on immigration until we first prove to the American people that illegal immigration is under control. And we can do that. We know what it takes to do that. It takes at least 20,000 more additional border agents. It takes completing those 700 miles of fencing. It takes a mandatory e-verify system and a mandatory entry/exit tracking system to prevent overstays. After we have done that, the second thing we have to do is reform and modernize the legal immigration system. And after we have done those two things, I think the American people are gonna be reasonable with what do you do with someone who has been in this country for 10 or 12 years.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

My family are all immigrants; but no comprehensive solution

My family is immigrants. My neighbors are immigrants. My in-laws are immigrants. America doesn't have one immigration problem, it has three. First, we have people coming illegally. Second, we have a legal immigration system that no longer works. It is built on the basis of whether you have a relative here instead of merit. And third, we have 11 million people who are here illegally. We must deal with all these problems. We cannot deal with all three in one piece of legislation.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

No green card for 10 years for current illegal immigrants

Q: Is it your position that a path to citizenship should be available to immigrants once securing the border and E-verify have been taken care of?

A: Yes. Before you can ever be a citizen, you have to be a permanent resident. That means a green card. And you have to be in that status for three to five years. And what I have argued is, if you have violated our laws, you should not be allowed to apply for a green card for at least 10 years. And then, when you apply for a green card, you should have to do it through the normal, regular process, not through a special process created for you. So it could take a long time for someone to ultimately apply for citizenship. But I think that's a fair way to do it. It should not be cheaper or faster to become a citizen by having come here illegally.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 19, 2015

Comprehensive immigration reform is politically infeasible

Q: Back in 2013, you were one of the authors of the comprehensive immigration plan, which included a tough border enforcement, crack down on employers, but also a path to citizenship. Here's what you said back then in about the 11 million people in this country illegally. But after it passed the Senate and ran into trouble in the House, you bailed on comprehensive immigration reform. How come?

RUBIO: It's not that we bailed. It's that we don't have the votes to pass it. In fact, we have less votes for comprehensive immigration reform today than we did two years again when that passed, because of the last election, because of unilateral actions the president took through executive order, because of a border crisis, because of minors. So I still believe we need to do immigration reform. I still talk about that on the campaign trail. I outlined it in my book, "American Dreams." The problem is, we can't do it in one big piece of legislation. The votes aren't there.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 17, 2015

Joined "Gang of Eight" to push comprehensive reform

On immigration, Rubio would work toward reform, piece by piece. As a Senate candidate, the Florida Republican opposed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who remain in the U.S. Then in 2013, Rubio joined the "Gang of Eight," which drafted and pushed a comprehensive immigration bill through the Senate. The legislation set up criteria and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and increased the size of the border patrol. After it froze in the House, Rubio told reporters he had changed his approach and is now pushing for separate bills to first stop the flow of illegal immigration and then address those in the country now.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Apr 13, 2015

Deal with border & future immigrants BEFORE any amnesty

Rubio received a standing ovation from a CPAC crowd after an engaging speech and Q&A in which he attacked President Obama's executive orders on immigration and said that he knew "the strongest argument" against the immigration bill that he helped draft was proven true. "What I've learned is you can't even have a conversation about [illegal immigrants already in the country] until people believe and know, not just believe, but it's proven to them, that future illegal immigration is brought under control," he said during the Q&A. "That is the single biggest lesson I've learned."

Rubio said that "the strongest argument" against the Gang of Eight amnesty bill he once co-sponsored--the complaint that the legal status was provided before the border was secured--was "proven to be true" by President Obama's executive actions on immigration. "The president not once but now twice has basically said by executive order, 'I won't enforce the law,'" he said.

Source: National Review on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

2010: Earned path to citizenship is code for amnesty

In 2010, the Florida senator said that an "earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty." Two years later, however, Rubio became one of the members of the Gang of Eight and sponsored a bill that would have introduced a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (along with new border-security measures and a new visa system). The bill passed the Senate but went nowhere in the Republican-controlled House.

Since 2013, however, Rubio has backed away somewhat from a full pathway to citizenship, advocating instead for a "piecemeal" approach starting with border security. In his new book, American Dreams, Rubio proposes a three-step path to permanent residency (aka a green card) for undocumented immigrants:

  1. those here illegally must come forward and be registered.
  2. those who qualify would be allowed to apply for a temporary nonimmigrant visa.
  3. those who qualify for a nonimmigrant visa will have to remain in this status for at least a decade.
Source: National Journal 2016 series: Republicans on immigration , Feb 23, 2015

Modernize immigration to win global competition for talent

Q: The president said he was planning on taking executive action on immigration reform because the Congress wouldn't do anything.

RUBIO: I think that we have to deal with immigration. We have a broken enforcement system on immigration. We have a legal immigration system that's outdated and needs to be modernized so we can win the global competition for talent. We have millions of people living in this country illegally, many of whom have been here for a decade or longer. We need to find a reasonable but responsible way of incorporating them into American life. Last year we tried to do that through a one-size-fits-all comprehensive approach; it didn't work. We don't have the support for that. The only way we're going to be able to address it--and I believe we should--is through a sequence of bills that begins by proving to people that illegal immigration is under control, modernizing our legal immigration system and then dealing with those who are here illegally.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 7, 2014

FactCheck: No MarcoPhones, and no executive DREAMers either

Bloggers claimed Marco's immigration bill would grant immigrants with work visas their own taxpayer-funded cell phones dubbed "MarcoPhones." The bill included grants aimed at helping American ranchers and others at risk of remote border violence get satellite phone service so they could be in touch with authorities. We rated the statement False.

As Rubio pushed immigration reform, he warned, "If nothing happens in Congress, this president will be tempted to issue an executive order like he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen."

Most experts say that's an extreme scenario and would invite legal challenges as well as a political backlash. More likely is that Obama could extend deferred action to additional subsets of the undocumented population, pushing them lower on the priority list. That might be relief for them, but it's also a legal limbo that falls short of legalization. We rated Rubio's statement Mostly False.

Source: PolitiFact 2013 fact-checking on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 19, 2014

Not amnesty: 15-year wait, plus fee, minus federal benefits

Q: While illegals are going to have to wait 15 years before they can become citizens, they get "probationary legal status." Isn't that amnesty?

RUBIO: [Illegal residents] don't get anything. What they get is the opportunity to apply for [citizenship]. They still have to pass the background checks; pay a registration fee; and they don't qualify for any federal benefits.

Q: Most people think once they have that status, even if it's called temporary, it's never going to get revoked.

RUBIO: Under the existing law today, if you are illegally in the US, you are not prohibited from getting citizenship. The only thing is, you have to go back to your home country, you have to wait 10 years. We're going to create an alternative that says, OK, you want to stay here, you have to wait more than 10 years, you have to be gainfully employed. It will be cheaper, faster and easier for people to go back home and wait 10 years than it will be to go through this process. And that's why it's not amnesty.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interviews 2016 Presidential Hopefuls , Apr 14, 2013

Green cards after 10 years; secure border; & e-Verify

Q: The 1986 immigration reform has been criticized in hindsight as something that only encouraged undocumented workers to come into the US. We went from some 3 million undocumented workers in the Reagan era; now we're dealing with 11 million. What in this bill is going to ensure that that doesn't happen again?

RUBIO: Well, three things. First of all, a universal e-verify system which means you won't be able to find a job in the US if you can't pass that check. Second, an entry-exit system-- 40% of our immigration are people that enter legally and then overstay their visas. We don't really know who they are, because we don't track even when they leave. And third is real border security including fencing. And all three of these things are going to happen because they are triggers for the green card process. That's the incentive to ensure they happen. In essence, for those who are undocumented, they'll have to wait 10 years, and also wait until those three things are fully implemented.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2013

Compare reform to existing situation of 11 million illegals

Q: What happens to the 11 million immigrants who are in this country illegally?

RUBIO: First of all, I think it's important to point out this is not a theory. They are actually here. We are not talking about bringing millions of people here illegally. They are here now and they are going to be here for rest of their lives. The proposals in the past that some have advocated is to make their lives miserable so that they'll leave on their own or to basically ignore the problem which is happening now and is de facto amnesty.

Q: some Republicans are going to say that your plan is really just amnesty under another name. Is it?

RUBIO: Well, I think that that misses the point that under existing law, if you're illegally here, you can get a green card. We're saying, if you decide you wanted to stay here, you'll have to wait for more than 10 years. So I would argue that the existing law is actually more lenient than going through this process that we are outlining.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2013

Leave immigration to feds; 50 sets of laws is worse

At a 2010 debate, [the moderator] asked me about several state immigration enforcement bills that Crist and others had accused me of blocking. I've always believed immigration is a federal issue, best left to the federal government. Our immigration system is a big enough mess as it is. Adding 50 different sets of state immigration laws would only make it worse. I believe border security and immigration policy are federal responsibilities, and as speaker I had said as much. But I had never blocked immigration bills introduced in the House. Most House members hadn't wanted to deal with them, especially since they knew there was no chance the Florida Senate would pass them.
Source: An American Son, by Marco Rubio, p.231 , Jun 19, 2012

GOP DREAM Act: visas for going to college or military

A new GOP effort led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to produce a scaled-back version of the DREAM Act is nothing more than election-year politics, argues Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona (Ariz.).

Carmona said, "I think it's a political calculation--that they recognized they cannot win their races and stay in office unless they embrace the Hispanic community."

The original DREAM Act would grant young people who were brought illegally to the US as children a path to citizenship provided that they attend college or serve in the military. Rubio's plan would provide not a path to citizenship but rather non-immigrant visas.

Rubio's spokesman said the proposal is a genuine effort to craft a bipartisan solution when it comes to the legal status of young undocumented immigrants. "Senator Rubio is working in good faith on legislation that can win bipartisan support and help undocumented kids who want to join the military or pursue higher education."

Source: Washington Post blog on 2012 Florida Senate debate , Apr 26, 2012

Opposes granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Rubio opposes the F2A survey question on amnesty

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants '

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q12b on Sep 19, 2010

Supports full implementation of current border security laws.

Rubio supports the F2A survey question on borders

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The Faith2Action survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Full implementation of current border security laws'

Source: Faith2Action Survey 10-FF-q12c on Sep 19, 2010

Terminate national emergency at the Southern border.

Rubio voted YEA Joint Resolution on Proclamation 9844

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.

Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: "The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch's exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis."

Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."

Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26

Source: Congressional vote 19-HJR46 on Feb 26, 2019

Other candidates on Immigration: Marco Rubio on other issues:
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