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ICYMI: Rubio Joins NBC 6

Mar 24, 2024 | Press Releases

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined NBC 6 to discuss the plight of the working class, Americans trapped in Haiti, the protests in Cuba, and more. See below for highlights and watch on YouTube and Rumble

On the plight of working Americans:

“All the efforts to convince [working Americans] that the economy is doing fantastic are almost insulting, because it’s not the reality. 

“Most people watching this show happen to live in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in the country. All these economic indicators about the stock market and how it’s performing – I’m not saying they’re irrelevant, but for someone who’s making $60,000 a year and can’t afford a home, [they’re not much of a consolation]. The property insurance has tripled, and all these other costs of living things are not going well.”

On Americans trapped in Haiti:

“It’s a very, very difficult situation. There are no easy answers to it. Let me tell you what my priorities have been. Number one, always, is Americans. We do have U.S. citizens [trapped in Haiti]. My office has been interacting with many of them. 

“The problem is not simply the ability to get them out. It’s getting them to the airport in Port au Prince. The airport has fallen. You have to drive through gang checkpoints to get there. They’re worried, rightfully so, about being kidnapped. 

“In other parts of the country, where there isn’t a big gang presence yet, because this is primarily centered on what’s happening in and around Port au Prince, there are no airports, and it’s hard to get to those places. You also have a Haitian government that in some parts of the country is simply not functioning. It’s been difficult. But we are working on that. 

“We have this situation now where missionaries that are there, some of whom have adopted Haitian children that are now adults, can’t even get [those children] a passport, because the Haitian passport entities are backlogged and not working efficiently. It’s a real challenge. [Americans are] our number one priority. 

“The second priority is what can we do to help achieve stability? I think that’s been a real challenge. There is not going to be a U.S. military intervention in Haiti as there has been in the past. There’s simply no appetite for it. Frankly, that would be very controversial, even among Haitian activists in our own community. But the Kenyans have offered to do it. Benin has now stepped up and said they’re offering this help. 

“The problem is you can’t just show up. You’ve got to have somebody to coordinate with. Who is the police force on the ground? Who’s the government we’re going to work with? Where do we land when the airport is controlled by gangs? There’s a real challenge there. 

“There’s been this effort to stand up this council that supposedly will represent all the different elements of society there. But already the gangs are saying they’re going to reject that and create their own council. It’s a very, very complicated situation with no easy answers. It will require some creative thinking. 

“Ultimately, we will try to do the best we can. Your heart breaks for these people, because they’re suffering. They’re suffering things that sound like something from a horror movie. It’s apocalyptic.”

On the potential for mass migration from Haiti:

“A mass migration from Haiti is not the same as a mass migration from Mexico, because there’s no land border with the United States. What we’re really talking about is 300 people crowded in an unsafe vessel in the middle of the ocean. Many of those people will die on that journey, because those vessels [are not built for] the open sea, and that’s really what we’re talking about. This is a real humanitarian crisis. 

“It would be very difficult for thousands and thousands and thousands of people to come all at once. It’s 700 miles away. That’s a long way away, especially in rickety craft. I think the concern about the mass migration is not so much that they would make it to the U.S. My concern about the mass migration is that the Coast Guard and others will be out there rescuing people on a near constant basis. And once you rescue them, where do you take them?”

On whether the United States should stop deporting Haitians:

“If you’re a criminal, you have to be deported. But [with the situation] we’re in right now, it’s not that I support a halt in deportation, it’s that where would you deport them to? To deport someone, you have to be able to contact their government. You have to say, ‘I’m bringing this guy back.’ You have to be able to put them on an airplane. That can’t happen right now. There is no airport you can land in. The airport is surrounded by gangs who on occasion have actually controlled it. They’ve had to shut it down. There’s a real challenge to mass deportations in that regard.”

On the protests in Cuba:

“There is no U.S. embargo on food and medicine. Cuba can import and buy as much food and medicine from the United States as they want. In fact, last year, over $300 million of U.S. agriculture was imported into Cuba. The problem is not any embargo or law or anything the U.S. is doing. The problem is their leaders are Marxists, and Marxism doesn’t work. It always leads to poverty. It always leads to suffering. That’s what’s happened. 

“These people have destroyed the economy because they continue to adhere to Marxism, and they are unwilling to make any changes to their economy because they’re afraid of losing political power. They don’t want someone having a business, because then those people are going to have opinions, and they’re going to make demands of the government. 

“You saw it the other day. Some party official stands on the roof of a home in Santiago de Cuba and says, ‘Tomorrow we’re going to bring X amount of powdered milk.’ People don’t have much, but everything they have the government provides. That’s how the government can control people. They don’t want to give up control over the economy. As a result, they’ve created this catastrophe. 

“That’s what’s happening in Cuba, Cuba’s never been a rich country, has never even been a prosperous country under Marxism. Now it’s confronting decades and decades of incompetence and Marxism combined. That leads to catastrophe. And that’s what you’re seeing – a near collapse in Cuba – as a result of it.”

On the vicious gang Tren de Aragua:

“The group started in Venezuela. It was a prison gang that ended up taking over the prison, which became their headquarters. Then they spread. They left behind carnage in Peru and Colombia and Ecuador and other places. Now they have taken advantage of our open and chaotic border and begun to migrate into the United States. 

“Because they are criminals, they are committing crimes. They’re not committing crimes because they’re Venezuelan. They’re not committing crimes because they’re migrants. They’re committing crimes because they are criminals. They were criminals in Venezuela. They were criminals in the other countries they lived in. Now they are here committing crimes as well. 

“We’ve already seen it. We’ve seen it in New York. We’ve seen it in Chicago. We saw it tragically with Laken Riley in Georgia. And that will continue. These people are not coming here to go to school and start a business and become Americans. They’re coming here to commit crime. The crimes they’ve committed in other countries involve human trafficking, sex trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, murder for hire, pickpocketing, retail theft – you name it. 

“I think as more and more of them get into the United States and are being released, you’re going to see more and more of these crimes, as these groups organize, and as they link up with other criminal elements in different communities. It’s a big problem.”

On the next Senate Republican leader:

“I think there’s time to make that decision. I think it’s premature to even begin to think about that yet. I’m interested in finishing out the work we have to do in this Congress. Then we’re going to have elections. We’ll have new senators. Their opinions will matter in that regard. 

“Right now, I haven’t lined up behind anybody. We’re going to wait and see until the full field is put together. That could include my home state colleague, Rick Scott. He hasn’t said he’s going to do it, but he’s done it before in the past. And there may be others. Who knows? Then we’ll see what happens.”