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National Review Rips Rubio on Immigration

Image: National Review Rips Rubio on Immigration

By Greg Richter   |   Thursday, 02 May 2013 04:25 PM

Freshman Republican Sen. Marco Rubio went into the immigration reform bill's Gang of 8 as the conservatives' ambassador to the group but has become the Gang's salesman to conservatives, a National Review cover story argues.

The Florida senator's inexperience pitted against the tactics of veteran Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York has him selling a bill that doesn't live up to his promises, author Mark Krikorian writes.

Democrats packed the bill with "as many loopholes and immigration-lawyer schemes as they thought they could get away with," the story says. "Rubio’s staff, like most GOP Senate staff, are relative amateurs on immigration, while Schumer’s people are pros."

Rubio, of Cuban heritage, has been the primary face for the bill, promising that it will require illegal immigrants who receive amnesty to pay back taxes along with a fine and learn English.

The National Review piece says that no taxes are likely to be paid, since the language of the bill says immigrants must "satisfy any applicable federal tax liability" previously "assessed" by the IRS. Such assessments, the article notes, are made only after someone has filed a tax return that is then audited by the IRS. Since illegal immigrants work off the books, there wouldn't be any past tax assessments to be paid.

As to the requirement to learn English, National Review says that it applies only to those already given amnesty and kicks in only when they want to get a green card. Even then, immigrants would be required only to take an English class — not prove that they are proficient in the language.

The fines involved are relatively small, National Review says, and employers who knowingly hire illegals face no fines whatsoever.

The bill would double legal immigration, from 1 million to 2 million a year. E-Verify would be required, but would apply only to new hires.

"The Schumer-Rubio bill," National Review says, "simply seeks to placate every interest group at the table by handing out more visas."

And while polls show the public overwhelmingly supports amnesty, the article contends that much of that support is "half-hearted" and seen as a way to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

But that's exactly what was promised in 1986, the article notes, and the promises weren't followed through then any more than they will be now.

Though Rubio says that no current illegal immigrants could get a green card before enforcement benchmarks are met, "he seldom notes that virtually all illegal aliens would get a kind of green card lite within months of the bill’s signing."

The "Registered Provisional Immigrant" status gives work authorization, a legitimate Social Security number, a driver’s license, and travel papers.

"(I)n other words," National Review says, "the amnesty is effectively granted up front."

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