The biggest impediment to crafting immigration legislation is that people don’t believe President Barack Obama will enforce the law, Sen. Marco Rubio said.
“We are dealing with an administration that, quite frankly, has shown a reluctance to enforce the immigration law,” the Florida Republican said. “If you want to know the single impediment to get things done on [immigration reform] is people don’t believe the Obama administration or the federal government will enforce the law.”
“We have to ensure that we build into this bill mechanisms that ensure that the law is enforced,” Rubio said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
Rubio, one of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators who crafted a comprehensive immigration-reform package, said Republicans made concessions by agreeing to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
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“Just the fact that we are going to allow or create a process for people who violated our immigration laws to stay in the country, that’s a major concession,” Rubio said. “In return, however, what we expect is to modernize our illegal immigration system, to have in place E-Verify and entry-exit tracking system, and $5.5 billion of border security.”
Rubio said that the legislation also mandates that people who are here illegally “do not qualify for any federal benefits, including Obamacare.”
“What we have now is de facto amnesty. That’s chaos and terrible for the country,” Rubio said.
Appearing earlier Tuesday on the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher radio show, Rubio said the current Senate bill couldn’t pass the House and “will have to be adjusted, because people are very suspicious about the willingness of the government to enforce the laws now.”
“That is a very legitimate suspicion, it’s one that I share, and if there’s anything we can do to make [the bill] even tighter … that’s what we should be working on,” Rubio said.
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