Tags: rubio | jeb | bush | immigration

Rubio Splits With Bush on Immigration

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 03:12 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said on Monday that he disagreed with former Gov. Jeb Bush over whether illegal immigrants should be provided with a pathway to citizenship in the United States.

“I just personally, ultimately concluded that to permanently say that you’re going to have millions of people that can never apply for citizenship hasn’t really worked well for other countries that have tried it,” Rubio told The Hill.

In his new book — “Immigration Wars” — Bush said that illegals should not get a pathway to citizenship. The former Florida governor’s stance marked a major change from his longtime position.

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“Permanent residency in this context, however, should not lead to citizenship,” Bush said in the book, written with attorney Clint Bolick. “It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences — in this case, that those who have violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship.

“To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship,” Bush continued. “It must be a basic prerequisite for citizenship to respect the rule of law.”

Rubio, who’s considered Bush a longtime mentor, said that his objectives for comprehensive immigration reform envisioned a process whereby illegals who passed background checks and paid fines could receive a non-immigrant visa.

They would remain in that status for a long time before being able to apply for citizenship.

“After that, all they get is a chance to apply for a green card, and they’d have to do it through the same process as everybody else,” he told The Hill.

Both Rubio and Bush are considered possible contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

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