Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) appeared on seven talk shows on April 14 to discuss and defend the immigration reform policy set to be unveiled on April 16. Rubio said the draft legislation lays out a way for immigrants who are living in the country illegally to apply for legal status, notes stiff penalties for breaking the law and secures the country’s border.
“I just hope that I can convince people that leaving things the way they are now is much worse than approaching it the way we’ve outlined,” Rubio said on ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”
Rubio is considered to be one of the key members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” for the entire process of hammering out a new immigration policy. Rubio’s endorsement of the bill on April 14 in some way eased the minds of conservatives who have relied on his opinion throughout the entire development. Rubio remains an advocate for the new policy, saying that although this process may have taken a long time, it will be worth it in the end.
“It will be cheaper, faster and easier for people to go back home and wait 10 years than go through this process,” Rubio said. “That’s why it’s not amnesty. If somehow being in the country illegally is cheaper, easier and quicker than the right way, I wouldn’t support that.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, immigrants with probationary statuses will have to wait 10 years before applying for permanent residency. During that time, they won’t qualify for food stamps or federal medical benefits. Rubio went on to speak about the policy’s border security laws, which would allow employers to use a federal database before hiring workers. Additionally, a new exit visa system would be in place to monitor when worker visas expired. Furthermore, technology will provide 100 percent surveillance of the border and stop 90 percent of the people who attempt to cross without permission.