Politics

Rubio explains backtrack on ‘border security first’ position to Limbaugh

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Thursday, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio made another pitch for the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform proposal.

But this time Rubio gave a different explanation on one point than he has given in the past.

Limbaugh pointed out that during a prior appearance on his show Rubio was steadfast in stating that there would not be “legalization” or “pathway to citizenship” until after the U.S.-Mexico border was secure. But Rubio has adjusted his position on the legislation, and he explained why.

“First of all, legalization does not begin automatically,” he said. “We don’t want to wait on legalizing and I’ll tell you why. My original position was that we wanted to secure the border first, then legalize. The problem is we have millions of people here now — by some estimates 10, 11 million. We want to know who they are and freeze the problem in place. I don’t want that number to grow. It behooves us to know who they as soon as possible so it doesn’t get worse.”

Rubio said it was up to the Department of Homeland Security to procure two plans, one for border security and one to build a fence, both of which would have to be implemented and achieve 100 percent control of the border and 90 percent apprehension of illegal entrants. If that standard isn’t met within five years, DHS loses control of the issue to a commission led by the governors of border states including California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

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