Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) keeps telling the American people that the Gang of Eight’s bill is not amnesty, despite the fact that virtually every illegal alien in the country will receive amnesty (“earned legal status” is what the kids are calling it these days) six months after the passage of the bill. The de facto amnesty Rubio decries will become de jure amnesty, which he gives his full-throated support. The junior Senator from Florida also says that the bill will result in a secure border and tough interior enforcement, despite the fact that neither of these things are actually required by the bill. If the border and enforcement “triggers” aren’t achieved ten years down the road, the “punishment” for amnestied illegal aliens is that they have to continue to patiently wait for their ‘green cards’ while they enjoy their jobs and benefits of life in America.
The Gang of Eight starts from the premise that a full and immediate amnesty is the basis for any negotiation over immigration reform. In defending this bill, Rubio is demanding that the American people cut a deal with those who have broken the law in exchange for a promise from politicians that they will get serious about border security and enforcement sometime in the future; that this time Senator Chuck Schumer really means it when he says he will support enforcement and border security. How do we know Schumer really means it this time? Was it enough that he was standing next to Marco Rubio when he said it?
Marco Rubio is stressing three points in his recent media barrage. The first is that the bill requires that 90 percent of illegal aliens are apprehended at the border. This is entirely misleading because Rubio has neglected to say that the 90 percent apprehension rate only applies to “high-risk areas” where apprehensions exceed 30,000 a year. The apprehension rate is determined by dividing the number of illegal aliens apprehended at the border by the number that successfully reaches the interior. That figure will be determined by DHS according to a metric that does not yet exist. Remember, the existence of the plan, not its implementation, triggers amnesty.
The second, and just as misleading, argument by Rubio is that the bill can never be altered once it becomes law. He wants the American people to rest assured that every single “enforcement” provision will be honored in the future. The truth is that this bill, just like the Secure Fence Act of 2006, will get watered down so it becomes completely toothless (its teeth are already rotten as it is). If the Republicans cave and support this bill, are the Democrats going to stop pushing for more concessions on immigration policy? Will those who are fighting enforcement now become enforcement hawks once President Obama signs the bill into law? Giving amnesty up front for a promise of future enforcement maybe within a decade is not a compromise. It’s stupid.
Rubio understands that the American people don’t trust anything coming out D.C., especially promises to end illegal immigration. So, his third argument is that we should trust him on this, because, well, he is Marco Rubio. But that is the very reason we should not trust him. When Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives he pushed for in-state tuition for illegal aliens and blocked immigration enforcement bills from coming to a vote. He ran as far away from these positions as he could in his Senate race, successfully establishing himself as a fierce amnesty foe. Here are Rubio’s own words.
If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that. – Marco Rubio, November 17, 2009
Earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. It’s what they call it. – Marco Rubio, October 24, 2010
Rubio even said that he would have voted against the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill, which as terrible as it was, was not as terrible as what Rubio is now pushing.
As far as amnesty, that’s where [Charlie Crist] and I disagree. He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong…if you grant amnesty…you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America. – Marco Rubio, March 28, 2010
Rubio has numerous times over the last few days said something that is undeniably true: “There are consequences when you elect the wrong person to office.”