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ICYMI: Rubio Joins State of the Union with Jake Tapper

Feb 11, 2024 | Press Releases

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined State of the Union with Jake Tapper to discuss America’s border crisis, support for U.S. allies, the Super Bowl, and more. See below for highlights, and watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble.

On the future of NATO:

“When Donald Trump was president, he didn’t pull us out of NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization]. In fact, American troops were stationed throughout Europe, as they are today. Look, Donald Trump is not a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He doesn’t talk like a traditional politician. We’ve already been through this. You’d think people would have figured it out by now. 

“He said NATO was broke or busted until he took over, because people weren’t paying their dues. And he told the story about how he used leverage to get people to step up to the plate and become more active in NATO. He’s not the first American president [to criticize NATO allies]. In fact, virtually every American president at some point, in some way, has complained about other countries in NATO not doing enough. Trump’s just the first one to express it in these terms. 

“I have zero concern because he’s been president before. I know exactly what he has done and will do with the NATO alliance. But there has to be an alliance. It’s not ‘America’s defense,’ with a bunch of small junior partners. Some of these are big countries with big economies. Many of them are doing more. The Germans are doing a lot right now.”

On additional U.S. support for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan: 

“If you put Israel aid up to a vote right now, it would pass. Maybe a couple people would vote against it, but it would pass very quickly. The problem is, Israel is being held hostage so they could get Ukraine. I have to explain this to my constituents, I have to explain it to the people of Florida, I have to explain it to the American people. Because I’m a U.S. senator, my number one obligation is America. If America is not strong, we can’t help any of our allies. I have to explain to them why the Senate is going to work all through Super Bowl weekend, which is fine with me, [but not on] something that’s critical to this country, which is the invasion that’s going on on our own border. 

On how the need to prioritize America’s borders: 

“According to a House committee and the documents and the statistics they put out…, 3.3 million people have been released into the country who arrived here illegally. Over 600,000 of them either have criminal convictions or pending criminal charges against them. This is a huge problem, and it has to be addressed. They put out a bill that they can call whatever they want, but it wasn’t a border security bill. It wasn’t tough. And frankly, it was negotiated by three people.

“I don’t begrudge it, but I wasn’t involved in that negotiation. I didn’t even ask for a bill. I asked for the president to reverse the executive orders that created this crisis when he took over in January of 2021. I think if we secure our own border here in the United States, we should help Ukraine. Look, half the money that’s going to Ukraine is not going to Ukraine. It’s to buy back our own weapons that we gave them to restock our own shelves. And Taiwan is included there as well. My problem is this: before we do these things, we have to make America and Americans a priority again. 

“In city after city, in New York, in Denver, in Chicago, here in Florida, to some extent, we are seeing the impact of this migrant crisis, not just on social services, but on the street. [We have a] crime wave going on. The mayor of Denver is now crying because he says the federal government has to send him a bunch of money to help with the migrant crisis. He says the only people that are not to blame for this are the migrants themselves. Why are we spending all of this taxpayer money to house migrants, feed migrants, accommodate migrants? We have a bunch of needs in our own country for Americans. How is that not our priority? Americans have to be our priority, and then we can help our allies.”

On how the Senate’s border “deal” would make the migration crisis worse:

“It’s not better than nothing. Look, there are some things in that bill that we should do, [such as] change the asylum standard. Here’s what else the bill did: the bill creates an asylum corps. It creates thousands of bureaucrats, basically asylum agents, that would be empowered right at the border to allow people into the country with an immediate work permit. Today, they have to wait six months. If 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. When you have asylum, you are on a path to citizenship, an asylum. When you get asylum, you are a year away from a green card and four years away from citizenship. And these bureaucrats would have the power to grant you asylum.”

On claims the border “deal” shuts down the border:

“First of all, it doesn’t shut down the border. It creates the ability to shut down the border, but it also gives the president the ability to say: ‘We’re not going to do it. The emergency is suspended, because it’s not in our national interest to do this.’ By the way, you still have to process 1,400 illegal immigrants a day, even in one of these emergencies, and it goes away in three years. The other thing it does is, it doesn’t touch the parole program, which is one of the loopholes the president has used to release all these people into this country. He’s paroling them in. That’s not even asylum…. 

“Immigration judges, their decisions can be overruled by the attorney general. The attorney general could actually step in and overrule them. These asylum officers, this asylum corps they’re going to create, can’t even be overturned by the attorney general. These people would have the power right at the border to grant people asylum. A lot of people don’t talk about that, but it’s right there in the law. Yes, it’s good to change the standard, but it’s going to be applied, and it ultimately is going to be applied by an administration that has proven its unwillingness to enforce our immigration laws.”

On the reason for the border crisis:

“This entire crisis began in January of 2021, when the president decided, for the first time in American history, that we were going to release 85, 90% of migrants that crossed the border, including single men. [This ‘deal’] would not change that. Again, it’s going to be interpreted at the border by people who’ve shown a propensity to interpret it very liberally. That’s the reason why they’re letting them in now, because they’re saying: ‘We think you might have a chance at asylum. We’re going to release you now.’

“In the hands of another administration, perhaps that asylum standard could be applied differently. But ultimately, once you have this asylum corps hired by Mayorkas, hired by Biden, put at the border, they will have the power to either release people pending a future hearing with an immediate work permit, which is going to draw hundreds of thousands of more people into our country, or they are going to be able to give them asylum right there and then, on the spot. And that is a pathway to citizenship. Asylum is a pathway to citizenship.”

On Rubio’s Superbowl pick:

“I want the 49ers to win so we can get rid of these conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift. Never in my life have I been motivated by anything other than football, but this time, I think if the 49ers win, it’ll be perfect. It would get rid of all these conspiracy theories. But I think the Chiefs are probably going to win.”