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This is -- fox news with -- exclusive with Florida senator -- -- senator thank you for joining.
There are several issues of concern to the Latino community.
And number one maybe the fact that 90% of them support passage of a DREAM Act that would allow children who -- Grown up in this country who are in school serve in the military it apparently becoming American citizens.
And yet the congress has blocked this U -- -- But it -- 90% support for the concept of helping young kids that were brought in this country.
Against through no fault of their own -- for their entire lives.
Our academic achievers -- wanna serve in the military -- would like to stay in the United States legally there's 90% support for that among Latinos I think there's -- -- percent support for that among the American people that constant.
The DREAM Act itself has problems that led to that opposition the first problem -- -- -- as we can't get sixty votes for senate so that right away and the person that has to operate in the process.
Wanna get something done I have to have sixty votes there's a lot of things I -- -- -- and I can't get sixty votes for.
The second thing it.
Is that the DREAM Act itself -- certain things that lead to that opposition for example it would allow for chain migration Somalia the kid's gonna be helped but they can use that position and then bring -- relatives.
And -- got to be 34 million people so that raises red flights.
So here's what I think we should we should figure out a way to accommodate them and there are ways to do that we're actively working for ways to do that that -- -- To sixty votes you know whether it's -- process that legalize them and doesn't.
Wouldn't prohibit them in the future from accessing the citizenship process but it wouldn't give them a pathway to -- -- carved out these are all options that are going to be on the table.
-- I'm willing to discuss and work with anyone to help accomplish.
What I have found unfortunately in my time here in Washington that this is a very powerful issue and that in fact there are those.
That maybe don't want to solve this but would like to leave it there so they can use in the election season Democrats sure.
Ultimately what are you also saying -- -- then.
In principle support the dream now I support the idea behind Mac which is to help these young kids I don't support the DREAM Act is currently drafted.
Because it allows for chain migration.
Because it creates a pathway to citizenship that could potentially discourage encourage.
Illegal immigration in the future I do support and I have consistently supported even during my campaign.
The notion that we need to help accommodate these kids who through no fault of their own find themselves in the legal limbo but we have to do -- the right way.
And so I'm actively engaged -- working with my colleagues and -- -- groups and conservative groups and anyone -- will work with me to craft a solution.
That -- to deal with this issue but doesn't do it -- -- counterpart -- does that distance you from the majority of Latinos in America now I think the majority of Latino in America look at this issue the -- the majority of Americans do and say I'll give you -- perfect example.
We have a case of a younger on South Florida who came to this country which was four years old -- monsters.
Her mother return to -- she's grown up your whole life.
Her mother returned to Colombia for medical care.
Which means of -- expires she's out status the problem is this young girls about the -- -- schools and six point six GPA.
-- if Ivy League schools that want an encouraging her comments that he wants to be a molecular biologist.
Our policy can't beat reporter -- if she can -- a basket bars you can throw a ninety mile an hour fastball you know we're gonna keeper.
But it's just about the -- were gonna reporter so the American people Republicans Democrats conservatives they look at a case like that and say you're right it makes no sense.
We've got to figure something out.
And I want to do is figure something out to help people like her in that situation.
That's bipartisan that unites us thank you get the sixty votes but that although it doesn't have some of the problems that the DREAM Act -- currently drafted path let's move on -- to general.
Immigration reform Republicans had stood stood in the way of immigration reforms that they don't want to prove anything that could be interpreted as amnesty.
Where do you stand on immigration reform given that your party has become.
Viewed as antagonistic.
To helping people create a -- way to -- -- I think well.
The first thing I think the party needs to be I hope to help it become once again the pro legal immigration party we have a broken legal immigration system.
We need to recognize that our legal immigration system is broken and at the broken legal immigration system is contributing to illegal immigration.
Part of the problem that we have -- legal immigration in this country.
Is that the American people don't trust the federal government facing this problem get worse.
A decade ago this issue of illegal immigration have bothered people but it wasn't the issue that's become now.
Because people -- the -- -- that wants to be demagogue it wants to get worse -- we have to make it real commitment to both border security and employment security and let me be fair.
I think that imply that that border security has improved but has a ways to go.
That's why support an electronic verification system.
That's why support and I think step to and it -- happen right afterwards is.
-- reform of the legal immigration process and assets in modernization of our visa programs that are broken antiquated.
And -- part of that by the way guest worker program.
There are a lot of people in this country that are illegally here out of status but don't wanna permanently live here but they're afraid to leave because -- they do they can't come back next year when they're needed.
I think -- we can do those things that we can improve border security and and work for security.
And also modernize our legal immigration system that I think it's gonna make it a lot easier to deal win.
The millions of people that are in this country and -- document arguments comes from President Obama that we have now more boots on the ground on the US border we have more.
Electronic surveillance of the border the border security is tighter than it's been I don't I said a few seconds ago -- I believe that border security has improved.
I think there's some things we can still do and certain sectors for example the Tucson sector but it hasn't for about it where we're headed in the right direction -- -- well -- -- -- and I think right after I think people would say you know there's a confusion here between drug gangs and drug dealers and people who emigrate here because there.
Want opportunity economic educational opportunity and that's the vast majority and I've always said that to etc.
well then why is it that you would stand in with Republicans and not offer an alternative vision program that you think here's what we as Republicans should support.
Well the bottom line -- I am and I'm starting with the kids the ones who are in that situation that's why I'm working on that.
By the way I have offered and has supported ideas about the -- the column McCain plan on the border security the air.
And this is what I believe.
I believe that if we modernize our legal immigration system if we create a guest worker program and -- we have to continue to improve -- security.
That then it will never be easy.
But it will be easier to deal with the issue of those that are in this country illegally.
Now I don't have a magic solution for that problem because it's a difficult one and I'll tell you why one this is very real -- my office especially.
IC just as many people -- doing the right way who have waited for years to come to this country -- who have applied who have paid looked -- all the things they need to do.
And my answer them -- -- want to do it illegally because it's faster and cheaper I don't know but I mean -- Ronald Reagan.
Advocating immigration reform is yet Republicans today but part are unable to put on the table and you haven't put on the table a bill that says here is your -- pots right and -- but there's -- on the table -- that but we're working on putting something on the table but here's what's happened in the past to put something on the table as it becomes an issue you've got to be careful how you do it because I don't support amnesty.
I don't support something that undermines legal immigration I'm not gonna support something that tells people -- were doing -- the right way that the cheaper and better way to do it is the wrong way.
And I'm not gonna do something that's not gonna pass that sets us back at the 070 that makes sense but why is it that you support someone like James brewer the governor of Arizona environment.
But do you support the idea of the kind of -- that they put in place with.
Again Latinos across the country Latino Americans but find -- I have a record on that issue is why it's very straightforward.
I don't believe that the Arizona -- as a model for our country.
I don't believe the Arizona law belongs in Florida I don't think other states should copy I'd rather the federal government deal with -- but what I said about the Arizona law is I believe the state of Arizona has a constitutional right to pass.
Number two -- -- about the Arizona laws that I understand why people and Arizona feel the way they do.
Because they don't have immigration problem as much as they have an all out drug war on the other side of the border.
And by the way I'm a big believer in what president -- is doing in Mexico he's taking on these issues but when you take on drug gangs they fight back and -- -- this violence.
And we -- need to be supportive of their efforts like we -- and Columbia.
But my point is that the people Arizona were responding to an issue that web beyond just immigration in terms of their border security they felt insecure about it and it dealt with it in -- state legislature.
You understand that it.
People who are Latinos infect people of color generally felt this means that you had an accident if you are personally call it the police would have the right.
To harass you but but I don't believe that that the law although it may be right for Arizona and the people of Arizona supported it through their legislature what happened.
I don't think that law should be a model for the rest of the country -- said that consistently -- in Florida needs that law.
What I think outlaws a wake up call for the federal government to Begin to do its job on -- security.
And unfortunately I have seen in this effort is that -- 07 when that immigration reform -- was put forward its set us back it's that the process back it's that the issue back.
What most disturbs me about the immigration debate.
Is it for so long immigration has been a source of unity for our nation and our people.
Now become a source of division.
We used to brag about the fact that we are a nation of immigrants now we're fighting about it at the right way and you wanna get us to do something but again I think people putting pressure on -- -- now let me ask about Mitt Romney who says he wants self deportation.
Mitt Romney the front or the likely Republican nominee.
Has taken the harshest position of any of the Republican candidates on immigration reform.
Are you ready to endorse Mitt Romney while I'm -- I'm endorsing Mitt Romney because I think it's going to be a much better president Barack Obama -- On the issue that you've outlined I think -- Mitt Romney would say and he needs this you know obviously.
He has spoken on that issue and tell you more depth about what what he feels but here's what -- -- I believe that the United States Americans illegal immigration system works we need to have a guest worker program.
That's where people -- -- tamper proof ID and in the country that work for defined period of time when their work -- over the go back to their country.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in this country illegally that would avail themselves of that program existed.
I think that this country needs to have legal immigration reform -- -- reform will argue the program is broken and I think and you have those issues and place you will be shocked.
And how much of the illegal immigration problem with -- and governor Mitt Romney's -- there is no pathway to citizenship and that self deportation do you consider that realistic it's the pathway to citizenship is -- applied in through the legal immigration process that's gonna break down I mean we have twelve million illegal immigrants in the conflict that pathway to citizenship is to legally immigrate to the United States what I said Teague tonight is that the way to do that is broken.
It has to be reform correct and that's but but that's that's why you reform the legal immigration system.
And that's what I'm talking about -- -- -- we reform the legal immigration system.
And deal with the security issues all of a sudden a lot of these legal immigration problem illegal immigration problems become easier to -- Well here's a question for you Rick Perry who was running for president governor of Texas advocated.
In state tuition for illegal immigrants.
Other Republican candidates opposed we're used to always have that law in Florida and out and we support about a lot Florida one time -- over time.
Unfortunately became harder to support that law because of the way the immigration process began to unravel.
When I got -- of the legislature in the year 2000.
This issue of in state tuition this issue of illegal immigration was not a hot and heated issue the American people -- the most compassionate people in the world.
And we're very open -- immigration.
And then this illegal immigration problem kept getting worse and worse and worse and the people felt stronger and stronger about it.
And the political space to operate again -- or now by 200620072008.
The instate tuition idea became impossible and quite frankly evolved into a bad idea because of the situation that we were facing with illegal immigration.
I'm telling you that before this illegal immigration problem -- out of control these issues weren't -- because the American people and their heart are pro illegal immigration.
Latinos in the United States say that if you were on the Republican ticket they would consider voting for the Republican Party.
Are you serious about accepting.
I'm not gonna be the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party and I'm not going to be asked to be vice presidential.
Elect to tell you about American and Hispanic descent and there won't have to be earned on multiple issues clearly the immigration issues important.
Because it's a personal issue and talking about the mother the father the brother somebody -- love somebody they care and so clearly that issues of critical issue.
But -- -- economic and our.
The vast majority of Latinos and Hispanics in this country either came here from another country or brought here from another country.
Because they were seeking a better life and big government didn't work in the country came from well I hope that if they.
I think that and so many of the social issues correspond to values that are emblematic of the Republican Party but I just -- -- -- -- -- but looking -- -- here from countries where the government dominates the economy which is exactly what the Democratic Party offers them is more government domination of the economy but you realize that on the issue we've just been discussing immigration.
That there is now.
More and more of a sense that the Republican Party is hostile not welcoming to immigrants well.
It's hard to make an -- and economic argument people think you want to deport the drama yes it's much more difficult that's but again that goes back to the issue that.
Why the Republican Party needs to become the pro legal immigration party.
And we have to do that because that's right for our country.
You're family's story.
It is amazing story.
But as -- Cuban American Republican.
The question becomes.
Does it resonate with Puerto Ricans Mexicans dominicans or -- CU and Cuban Americans separate story.
I can tell you -- and my parents worked very hard they came here because they're looking for a better life they worked their entire life very hard to that I can have opportunities they didn't have.
I can tell you about the community that helped raise a lot of Cuban exiles and I'm very proud of the Cuban exile community but my wife -- -- Colombian descent.
All my neighbors are from all over Latin America to me the story of immigration me the story Hispanic community aspirations for a better life.
That your children would have opportunities that you didn't have I didn't read about this and magazine article.
I'm surrounded by every single day of my entire life whether it was at Miami or in Las Vegas where I lived it high and back in mind you move there again.
My neighbors my friends -- kids that went to school with my in laws which is now half my family these are people that lived this experience this -- not the -- there's been confusion about whether or not your family -- really Cuban refugees will that hurt you in terms is confused by.
Well and well obviously you know there's a reporter a book coming out you have your -- moved up the schedule for you release of your book the same day his book is coming out.
The whole notion that your family didn't -- -- -- of Castro first of all the bottom line -- my parents can be enacted in 1956 search of a better life always aspired to return to Cuba they wanted to and they trot.
As many Cubans did.
In fact you know the story of immigrants is not usually a story of instant success and there was a time and -- -- they were discouraged by some of the way things were going here.
The bottom line is my parents were never able to return to -- -- -- options taken off the table.
They identified as that -- they raise this.
As parents that -- exiles they are exiles and I was raised a community of exiles I did get the date wrong I didn't know as soon as I knew I stop saying the wrong date.
It doesn't change the fundamental aspects of my story about reaction you're getting from -- the teams not just released.
On this issue of well what did my family really come here as refugees -- bring that up to me nobody I ever ever had a single person other than the reporter is that it should.
That's -- -- one element of the story also is that a for a time you were raised as a Mormon.
Think most people didn't -- how many Latino mormons do we have in America I don't know -- answer that I was eight years old and obviously when three years -- -- do what your parents tell you to do which is by the -- one of the reasons behind the DREAM Act right behind the concept of the DREAM Act when your -- -- -- -- or your parents think -- Our parents took us from Miami to Las Vegas and back.
And it's not something we hide from I mean it's now at the bottom line is it was an episode in our life when I was very young and we've not you know it's a bit more fully discussed in the -- -- by the book.
At the -- if you are not a Mormon now now now.
Now when people look at you -- we do and say here you say I will not be vice president I will not accept this nomination I think why.
Well first of -- I -- to the United States senator and I am and I state senator from the state of Florida who have.
It's a big state with a lot of diversity issues that need to be confronted in Washington DC here in the city.
And I'm focused on that job I think that's right can best serve our nation right now -- that's what I'm focused.
Jeb Bush former governor of Florida that -- -- his pick and he's also endorsed Romney he's my pick I want to push to the vice president -- that but -- seriously.
Are holding to this line you will not accept it I'm not going to be for a lot because I'm focused on my job in the senate and that's from my mind that's from my heart that I wanted to be when it's the difference between winning and losing all right out and that's -- first of all -- always these hypothetical questions are dangerous and it isn't going to be the -- -- winning or losing you know when I was a presidential race on the vice presidential pick.
You win or lose on the competing visions for the future of our country.
And I think we Republicans have an opportunity to offer it very clear contrast.
To the direction the Barack Obama has taken and wants to continue to take the United States and you think that that vision.
That contrasting visions can be so to Latinos in America oh absolutely especially.
All the communities in America not understand economic empowerment upward mobility better.
Then the Latino community who relive it every single day which is the reason why they're here to Begin.
And the best system in the world for upward mobility and economic empowerment the American free enterprise system which I would argue the democratic agenda is undermine.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida thank you so much for coming on fox news with Tina thank you I'm one.
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