Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio warned Tuesday that some on the Republican side of immigration reform could come up empty-handed if the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” plan fails.
In an appearance on WFLA’s “The Morning Show with Preston Scott” in Tallahassee, Fla., Rubio explained that President Barack Obama will be tempted to enact his own immigration reform measures by executive order if Congress does not pass an immigration bill. An Obama executive order would legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants, he said.
“I have been saying now for over a year I believe that this president tempted, will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress he will be tempted, to issue an executive order like he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen,” Rubio said. “We won’t get an E-Verify, we won’t get any border security — but he’ll legalize them. So what I have tried to do is come up with as best as possible, given who controls the Senate, a way to start this conversation to at least address some of these issues because it only gets worse as times goes on.”
Scott pressed Rubio on why there isn’t a push to enforce existing law. Rubio said the law has not kept up with existing technology.
“The existing law does not have a universal E-Verify system or something like it — an employer verification system,” he said. “The existing law has no incentive in it for them to make sure they do the entry/exit tracking. The law requires an entry/exit tracking system, but they’ve never set it up because there is no pressure to do it. It’s not linked to anything the other side wants. That’s why making it as a trigger is so critical so that we can ensure it will happen.”
“At the end of the day, the existing law does not help us solve the problem that we have 11 million human beings living among us, some of whom have committed crimes but will be here the rest of their lives, most of whom have not,” he continued. “But the average age is in the mid-30s and unless we’re going to try to round up and deport 11 million people, something not even the most vociferous opponents of the bill proposed then we’re have to address this one way or another. But we can’t leave it, in my mind, the way it is, because a year from now we could find ourselves with all 11 million people here legally through an executive order from the president, but no E-Verify, no border security, no more border agents — none of the other reforms that we desperately need.”
(h/t The Washington Post)