Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio pushed back on CNN host Jake Tapper during a disagreement over whether asylum led to citizenship in the failed border security deal.
Rubio appeared on “State of the Union” to discuss the ongoing border crisis and recently failed bipartisan senate border security deal. During the Florida senator’s interview, Tapper questioned Rubio on whether previous support for the deal from the Border Patrol union was wrong. (RELATED: Sen. Chris Murphy Tells MSNBC Host Illegal Migrants Are ‘People We Care About Most’)
“They say this is better than nothing, it should become law. Are you saying that the Border Patrol union is wrong?” Tapper questioned.
Rubio stated that the Border Patrol union’s support of the deal was “wrong” by noting that it was “not better than nothing.” Rubio went on to highlight a major issue he saw with the bill “basically” creating an “asylum court” that would’ve eventually granted thousands of immigrants a “path to citizenship.”
“Yes, if that’s what they still believe, they’re wrong. It’s not better than nothing. Look, there are some things in that bill that we should do – change the asylum standard and the like. Here’s what else the bill did. The bill basically creates an asylum court. It creates a bunch of – thousands of bureaucrats, basically asylum agents, that would be empowered right at the border to either allow people into the country with an immediate work permit, today they have to wait six months,” Rubio stated.
“You give them an immediate work permit, you’re going to have more people coming, that’s a huge magnet. Or they have the power to immediately release them and grant them asylum which now puts them on a five year path to citizenship, which is what a lot of Democrats want. They want to turn a bunch of illegal immigrants, into citizens, into voters, in the hopes that those people will then turn around and vote for them in future elections, grateful because they’ll know who let them in. That’s a huge problem. That doesn’t solve the border, it makes it worse.”
Tapper then jumped in to “clarify” that the bill didn’t provide a path to citizenship before Rubio pushed back against the CNN host to state that it “absolutely it does.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘This Is Our Opportunity’ — Top GOP Senators Game McConnell’s Ouster After Botched Border Deal)
“This doesn’t provide a path to citizenship for any of these people, just to clarify, but it raises…,” Tapper stated before being cut off.
“Yes, it does. Absolutely it does. No, no, yes it does.,” Rubio stated. “When you have asylum, you are on a path to citizenship. When you get asylum you are a year away from a green card, four years away from citizenship, absolutely it does. And these bureaucrats would have the power to grant you asylum – not even a judge, a bureaucrat.”
Following Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson’s refusal to grant additional foreign aid unless the U.S.’s southern border crisis was included late last year, Senate lawmakers had been working together to create a bipartisan deal. After months of negotiations, the Senate released the long-awaited text on Feb. 4.
The potential $118 billion deal would have given $48 billion to aid Ukraine as it continues its war with Russia, roughly $16 billion for Israel against its fight with Hamas, and an estimated $20 billion would address border security reforms. However, upon the release of the text Republicans quickly slammed the bill, with Johnson stating that the bill would be “dead on arrival” if it passed through the Senate.