Tags: Trump Administration | Immigration | Marco Rubio | rubio | illegals | right | immigrate

Rubio: 'You Don't Have a Right to Illegally Immigrate Here'

By    |   Saturday, 02 May 2015 12:15 PM

Marco Rubio thinks illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least a decade should take a series of steps toward becoming legal, but doesn't believe they should benefit from a special process.

"One of the problems I have with the groups out there that are advocating for immigration reform, some of them, is they approach this debate with the argument that they have a right to be here," the Florida GOP senator and presidential candidate told National Review's Jim Geraghty during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit in Washington on Friday. "You don't have a right to illegally immigrate here."

Rubio says illegal immigrants should have to pay a fine, learn English, and go through a background check, "and in exchange for all of that, what you would get is the equivalent of a non-immigrant, non-permanent work visa to be in the U.S., and you would have to be in that status for a significant period of time."

And after that, people who want to seek permanent residency should "have to do it through that modernized legal immigration system and you’d have to do it just like everybody else, not a special process or anything of that nature," Rubio continued.

Rubio told Geraghty that most people who did go through such a process before former President Ronald Reagan's immigration overhaul in 1986 did not go on to become U.S. citizens.

He complained that President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration encouraged illegal activities and made the crisis even worse at the nation's border.

Under the Gang of Eight bill, which passed in the Senate in 2013 but did not move through the GOP-controlled House, the number of immigrants and foreign workers who were allowed into the country would have increased significantly, reports The Daily Caller.

About 1 million immigrants and 700,000 guest workers are allowed into the United States annually, but the proposed Gang of Eight bill would have caused the population to reach a record high of 15 percent, or one in seven Americans, by the year 2020, according to a Center for Immigration Studies report.

But while Rubio was at one point front and center over the Gang of Eight bill, he's since distanced himself from it, as he did not believe it pushed enough for increased border security. He now sponsors a bill to triple H-1B visas for high skilled workers and to allow almost unlimited university-based green cards, legislation heavily backed by the business community.

But assimilating immigrants won't be easy, Rubio says, reports The Daily Caller.

"We have a challenge in this country assimilating people who are born and raised here too," he said. "We’ve got tests in our own schools that teach that America’s not special, and I think that’s a big problem."

Rubio's changing stance on immigration isn't winning him fans from either side of the issue.

Critics say the way he handled the immigration issue shows that he lacks any significant legislative accomplishments during his short time in the Senate.

"He will always be known as the guy who stood up for something he seemed to believe in and backed down when it was politically convenient to do so," Frank Sharry, a veteran immigration advocate who leads America's Voice, a left-leaning, pro-reform group, told Politico last month.

Meanwhile, immigration advocates say his new stance shows that Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, has turned his back on their wishes, and have heckled him at appearances as he starts his presidential campaign.

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Marco Rubio thinks illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least a decade should take a series of steps toward becoming legal, but doesn't believe they should benefit from a special process.
rubio, illegals, right, immigrate
Saturday, 02 May 2015 12:15 PM
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