A new path to citizenship?
Sen. Marco Rubio defends immigration reform plan
- Duration 9:18
- Date Jan 28, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio defends immigration reform plan
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This transcript is automatically generated
Earlier today a group -- -- senators unveiled a new framework to reform America's immigration laws for the nearly eleven million undocumented people that are living in this country right now.
-- in just a moment I'll be joined by 10 lawmakers will help put this together this new plan senator.
Marco Rubio from Florida but first here is how the deal was announced earlier -- now the eight senators who came up with this plan.
Have a number of goals in mind -- first they -- -- secure our borders and that means first and agreement calls for creating a path to citizenship for those who already living here in the United States illegally.
They also want to reform the legal immigration system that the US already has in place.
They -- to create an effective employment verification system to prevent the hiring of on authorized workers -- will help combat identity theft.
And establishing and improved process -- -- future workers to serve our nation's workforce needs.
-- -- our President Obama is expected to lay out his vision for sweeping immigration reforms.
In what is being billed as a major speech however ahead of that and -- response to what we heard today out of the senate.
I thought I would share -- -- views as a conservative on this topic.
-- the issue of immigration has been used as a political wedge by Democrats for years.
Now Republicans say have been falsely accused of not caring about Latino immigrants but -- Republicans demand that our borders be secured and secured first.
Now let's cut to the chase if we don't secure American borders will never be safe as a country.
This -- got to be a top national security priority.
Now this issue was a whole lot bigger than just people coming to America because they want opportunity.
For this terrorist cross that border drug smugglers they crossed the border.
And the cost to states have been massive.
The financial impact on our educational system our healthcare system or criminal justice system.
Has cost this country billions and billions of dollars.
Now it is this debate moves forward I wanna warned Republicans in the house and senate -- -- -- President Reagan once said trust but verify.
Now any deal that is -- Democrats must include securing the borders first and I mean totally secure.
Otherwise I promise you you're going to be back here ten years from now.
-- we're going to be dealing with the exact same issues and to be honest I frankly have little or no trust -- senator Schumer senator Durbin and President Obama.
You know I don't really think they want to solve the issue I think they want to politicize it so my advice to Republican lawmakers proceed with caution.
But joining me now with reaction to today's announcement Florida senator Marco Rubio senator good advice bad advice.
Good advice I think look what's important remind -- thanks for having me on to talk about this important topic.
I think it's a good moment to remind people and and the country to the vast majority of conservatives favor legal immigration and we don't have a legal immigration system that works right now.
And our problem with -- illegal immigration is that it undermines legal immigration so we have eleven million people that are undocumented and we understand that we have to deal with this issue because.
We have eleven million people by all accounts are going to be here the rest of their lives where there without documents that are objection has been in the past.
That we can't do anything to deal with eleven million people that number one is unfair to people who have done at the right way.
Or number two that will encourage illegal immigration in the future and that's why your point is so important and one of the things that I've.
-- made a key part of my own personal principles.
I'm glad they found their way into these principles and must be a part of any final bill and that is this that before we can move towards a path.
For green cards to citizenship comes after that it's it's a -- the green cards.
Before we moved to a path towards green cards there has to be enforcement mechanisms that are verified and then place.
And it's not just the borders on its workplace enforcement because that's the magnet for illegal immigration.
And it's tracking the entry and exit a visitor -- 40%.
Of -- illegal immigration are undocumented people in this country in certain legally and overstayed their visas and we don't track when people leave so we don't even know who they are -- where they are.
All these things must happen before.
Before there -- a path to a green card I think that's a critical part of any component that we do here as I read -- the the framework that was put out today earlier senator.
It said simultaneously.
I wondered if people playing games are ready to let you know let me explain that I think I understand that -- here's what happens when you're undocumented you have to come forward you have to identify yourself you're going to be finger brilliantly fingerprinted you're gonna have a background check done.
You're gonna have to pay taxes and fines.
And what you get is a non immigrant -- so that is not a green card or non immigrant visa means you have a work permit to stay in the country you don't qualify for any federal benefits under that if you don't get federal benefits.
During the same time and they're gonna have to stay in this process for a significant period of time.
And while there in that process is on all of this security stuff needs to happen.
And after a number of years have gone by and the security enforcement stuff -- in place.
Then the second phase begins which is we give people the opportunity to apply for a green card.
The same way everybody else does not a special way the same way which means you got to stand in line you have to wait your turn behind everyone who applied before you legally.
And when your turn comes up.
You have to qualify for the be -- you're applying for an essence we are giving people the opportunity to earn.
The chance to do this the way they should have done it to begin with so yeah that's why it's a simultaneous.
Because while -- -- probationary period that's when the enforcement stuff is happening.
So how Long Will this process ultimately take and you pretty simply said no federal benefits you have to prove that you have a job you have to go through a background check I mean so is it really -- -- be that stringent for people.
It what you that's and that's why the this is a town where they write things that are called something but that's not what it is so it has to be important look what I don't you -- you sense something in your in your.
And you're -- that is very important I don't -- ever have to do this again but that's what's gonna happen -- all we do as the legalization part and we don't do the enforcement part.
And the only way that I know to incentivize the enforcement part is to say that the green card stuff doesn't even begin to happen until the enforcement happens first.
That trigger is critically important otherwise it will never happen that's why we're we we are today.
Because when they did this in 1986.
They did not do the enforcement and that led to eleven million people will be right back here again in ten years or -- If we don't do the enforceable is that -- what can I characterize that if you don't get enforcement first or securing the borders first is is -- that deal killer for you and for absolutely no -- I mean because -- -- that that will be right back here again I wanna deal with this permanently.
And by the way I think the vast majority of people on both parties would agree -- me on that point no one ever wants to have to do this again.
-- -- what -- that no one is happy about the fact that we have eleven million people here -- -- on documented this is something that should never ever happen again.
But the decisions that were made that led to this happened when I was -- ninth grade.
As a long time ago and now we have to deal with -- so that it never happens again.
How do you respond to those PI -- the framework and and when you first explain it to me in the last week and I spoke to you.
I said this was the most interesting proposal that I have ever heard but is it seemed like you really sincere in putting this to bed once a brawl.
And also it seem like a very very difficult process with a lot of penalties involved.
For people did not respect our laws and sovereignty.
What do you say to people that say Walter -- in the end if people can get a green card they can stay there.
That it's open it's a backdoor form of amnesty what your response -- that.
Well first of all -- the bottom line is that it would have been cheaper and easier for them to have done it the legal way than the way they're gonna get it now and essence we're not creating an incentive.
-- -- -- rewarding is because quite frankly for many of these people.
Didn't that they would have been better off doing at the right way this is gonna cost them penalties this is -- call costs and taxes this is gonna cost them a significant weight.
And then up after the do all of that the only thing they're gonna have access to is the opportunity to apply for -- green card you -- to qualify for the visa Europe climbed four.
So -- that they would have been better off doing it the right -- from the beginning.
Amnesty is different from the proposal in 2007.
That created a brand new thing called -- -- which basically with a blanket and had to do very little to qualify Ford.
So it -- -- the reason this is not what I try to punish anybody here this is not about.
That or angry at immigrants this is about the fact that we don't want this ever happen again and we don't wanna be unfair to the people that have done at the right -- on I have.
Hundreds of people a month come to our offices -- to talk about the fact that there have family members that are waiting in line.
To come -- the right way our message to them cannot be you know come illegally because it's cheaper and quicker.
On the other hand this is -- reality we have eleven million human beings in this country that are going to be here for the rest of their lives.
We have to solve that problem in a way that takes it -- go to the back of the line and that's part of the that will be part of the legislation correct but that knowledge -- -- yes and -- do they go into the back of the line and wait behind everybody would -- before them the right way.
But when their turn comes up to have to qualify for the -- so they're applying for not a special pathway.
And there's going to be a lot of penalties and security checks and a lot of other I was an asset -- the most it's the most thoughtful proposal that I have heard and you explained it better than anybody.
But the devil will be in the details and -- to me I really do that if they don't secure the border first there's no point because we're gonna be back debating it in by viewers.
That's correct I senator thanks so much for clarification and I appreciated wish you best -- -- gotten on this process as we move forward.
Thank you shot.