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ICYMI: Rubio Joins Fox News Sunday
On how to resolve the border crisis:
“The realistic path forward, if we want to end this crisis, begins with Joe Biden reversing the executive orders that he made. Every single one of them was designed to reverse the Trump policies.
“For the first time in American history, we have a president who will not detain people who entered this country illegally. The immigration system in America is complicated, but our laws are pretty straightforward. It defines who’s allowed to be in the country, and it says if you’re here illegally, you should be detained through removal. We used to have exceptions to that, but narrow exceptions. The majority of people were detained. Now the reverse is happening. Now the exceptions have become the rule. Today, if you enter the United States illegally, you are going to be released. Your chances of being released into the country very quickly are between 85 and 90%.
“People know this. The word spreads. They come from all over the world. Now there are 7.2 million people in this country that have entered over the last three years that are here illegally…. That’s an unsustainable thing.
“And all of that was driven by [Biden’s reversals of Trump’s policies]. You can see it in the numbers, beginning in January of 2021, when Joe Biden entered the White House. He needs to reverse and go back to the policies that were in place before then, when we didn’t have these numbers.”
On whether Republicans would support executive action to secure the border:
“Of course [we would support it]. And not only would we support it, we’ve called for it. He should have done that before. Remember, we spent two and a half years arguing with the Biden Administration over whether there was a crisis at all. We can’t forget that for two and a half years, Biden and all of his surrogates and deputies said that there is no crisis, that there is nothing going on down there that’s wrong. They spent a long time denying it until they couldn’t deny it anymore.
“Of course I would support [executive action]. In fact, that’s what I specifically have called for. Had he done so, I would have voted for the funding for Ukraine and all the other things. I’ve supported Ukraine funding, but we have to prioritize this American crisis that we have on our hands, which I think is now posing a real danger.
“Let’s say it’s 6.2 million that are in this country illegally right now, that have been here over the last three years. If only 1% of them are dangerous criminals, that’s 62,000 criminals on our streets today, people that were criminals overseas in their own countries before they even came here. We’re seeing that play out now every day, tragically, in the headlines on the news.”
On the criminal element among illegal immigrants:
“There are criminals in every country in the world. If you take 6.2 million people from anywhere, some percentage of them are going to be criminals. They’re not criminals because they’re migrants. They’re criminals because they’re criminals.
“For example, there is a gang in Venezuela [Tren de Aragua] that left Venezuela, has terrorized Colombia, has terrorized Peru, has terrorized other countries. Some of those people have now made their way into the United States. What do we think they do once they get here? Do we think they become stockbrokers? Do we think they now go and run some charity organization? No, they do here what they did in Peru, what they did in Colombia, what they did in Venezuela before that. They are criminals. Every single day they’re playing out again, not because they’re migrants, but because they are criminals.
“This is what happens when you allow 7.2 million people to march into the country and invade it the way they have. Some percentage of them are going to be criminals. And guess what criminals do? They commit crimes. That’s what’s happening in America now with many of these people.”
On the likelihood of a negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine:
“I’m not going to set parameters on what that looks like. It’s not our place to do that, and it’s premature to do that.
“Here’s what I do know. There is no way that the Russian Federation takes all of Ukraine or [even] half of Ukraine. That was Putin’s goal from the beginning, to carve it up and have at least half the country, including Kyiv. That’s not going to happen. On the other side of it, we have the reality that Ukraine is small compared to Russia in terms of size and its ability to conscript people. In the past, I have tried not to talk about this publicly, because I thought it undermined the leverage that Ukraine had, but now it’s the reality: neither side is going to be able to achieve victory as defined in the most idealistic terms.
“So if, in fact, there’s going to be a negotiated settlement, who’s going to have the leverage here? Is it going to be Putin? Or is it going to be Ukraine? I want Ukraine to have the most amount of leverage possible. When the time comes for those conversations to happen, they’re not going to have leverage if Putin feels like he has the upper hand, that he has ways to gain and force Ukraine into a situation where they basically become a satellite state, which is what he wants. He wants Ukraine to be like Belarus. He wants to keep territory and then, whatever is left over of Ukraine, he wants it to be a country that is forced to remain neutral and that is in his orbit and sphere of influence. I want Ukraine to have the most amount of leverage, and to do that, we have to help them. I’m in favor of doing that.
“But we have to first take care of our country. So yes, I believe that we should help Ukraine, but only after we help America and secure our border, in the same way as Democrats are saying, ‘We won’t help Israel unless we help Ukraine.’ They’re holding Israel as leverage over Ukraine.
“At the end of the day, that’s what I hope we can achieve here. It begins with the president doing what he should do anyways, which is to reverse the executive orders that have caused this migrant crisis at our border.”