Marco Rubio on Amnesty?

Newly minted GOP Presidential candidate Marco Rubio made the media rounds in the wake of his announcement and he faced questions about his position on amnesty for illegals.

First, a Byron York interview surfaced from Rubio’s unsuccessful attempt to pass the Gang of Eight immigration bill back in 2013.

“Here’s my big worry,” Rubio told me during an interview while the bill was making its way through the Senate. “I fear that if this thing fails, the president will basically say to anyone in the U.S. who has been here more than three years, who has not committed a serious crime…he’ll say, ‘We’ll do for you what we did for the DREAM kids.’ And the problem with that will be you will have 10 million people legalized in the United States by executive order, so that when there is a new president, if it is a conservative, a Republican, one of the first decisions they will have to make is whether to yank that status from those people and deport them. I cannot imagine a scenario where a future president is going to take away the status they’re going to get. I believe it’s what [Obama] will do. Maybe not all 10 million, but he’ll do it for six million.”

As a political prognosticator, Sen. Rubio was dead on.  President Obama did cite Congress bending to the will of most Americans and failing to pass amnesty as a pretense to just enact amnesty on his own.

Worrysome is not imagining a scenario where a future president is going to take away the status they are going to get.

In this Fox News piece, Sen. Rubio tries to explain his position on amnesty.


Allahpundit at Hot Air  breaks down the difference without a distinction in Sen. Rubio’s 2013 comments with his position today.

If you want to pretend that that’s meaningfully distinct from what Rubio would do as president himself, have at it. The best spin that can be put on this, I think, is that Rubio lied to York at the time because he wanted to put pressure on righties to support the Gang of Eight bill. In other words, he didn’t sincerely believe that O’s order would be irreversible by a GOP successor but he wanted conservatives to believe it so that they’d panic and decide to accept half a loaf on immigration in the form of the Senate immigration bill. That wouldn’t be the first time Rubio used Obama in a sort of good cop/bad cop routine to get amnesty passed. If it makes you feel better to think that he was lying to righties two years ago to try to scare them into supporting comprehensive immigration reform rather than lying to them now about what he’ll do as president, again, have at it.

York believes Rubio learned his lesson in the defeat of the Gang of Eight bill and now knows the tightrope he must walk on immigration to remain a viable candidate.

Rubio said the Gang of Eight failure taught him that security and enforcement measures — border security, E-verify, visa control — would have to be not just voted into law, not just funded, but actually completed and functioning before legalization could be considered.


“Once it’s in place, and people see that it is working and is actually being applied, then I think people would be willing to have a serious and responsible conversation about how to address the millions of people who are here illegally,” Rubio said. “But they’re not willing to do that until they know that the illegal immigration problem is under control.”


The bottom line is that Rubio, after suffering defeat, came around to where many of his fellow Republicans had always been.

He doesn’t do himself any favors talking about his past efforts to outdo presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton when it comes to amnesty.

“Well, I don’t know about the [other Republican presidential candidates], but I’ve done more on immigration than Hillary Clinton ever did. I mean I helped pass an immigration bill out of a Senate dominated by Democrats,” Rubio said. “She’s given speeches on it, but she’s never done anything on it.”…

No doubt we will hear much more from all the candidates on illegal immigration in the coming months.