Huckabee: “I think you’re on the right track with the immigration bill. It sounds like it is a very responsible and even-handed approach that I hope Republicans and Democrats can come together on. Because Lord knows, this has been an ongoing problem. Not resolving it is an unacceptable thing.”Interview with Mike Huckabee
Senator Marco Rubio
April 17, 2013
Senator Marco Rubio: “Well first of all, it’s important to understand what the law is today. The law today says that if you are illegally in the United States, it doesn’t prevent you from becoming a citizen one day. All it says is that you have to leave the country and you have to wait ten years before you can become a permanent resident, and then another three to five years before you become a citizen. So there is an existing pathway to citizenship right now for people that are illegally in the country. The problem is that millions of people that are in this country illegally have been here for more than a decade, and they’ve got children that are U.S. citizens, and they’re not going to leave. And so the choice before us is: we’re not going to round them up and deport them. We’re just not that kind of society. We can’t ignore the problem. So what we do is we ask people to come forward, undergo a background check, pay a significant fine – obviously if they’ve committed any crimes they’ll have to leave – pay an application fee. And in return for all of that, the only thing they’re going to get is a temporary worker permit that allows them to work in the United States and that you have to renew that after six years. It’s not forever.
“Beyond it, you won’t qualify for any federal benefits and that’s important to understand. You can’t go on welfare. You can’t get food stamps. You can’t even get ObamaCare. The only thing you qualify is to work and pay your taxes. And you only get that for six years and then at the six year point you have to reapply, pay another fine, pay another application fee, and you have to prove you’ve been paying taxes the last six years and that you’re employed. You have to prove that you’re not a burden on society, and then you still have to stay in that for another four years. And then assuming that ten years have gone by that you’ve been in that status, and assuming the border’s been secured, that e-verify has been put in place across the country, that entry-exit tracking system for visas has been put in place – because I don’t know if people are aware of this but 40 percent of the people that are illegally here came in legally, then overstayed. Assuming all three of those things have happened and the ten years have gone by, then only thing you can get is a chance to apply for a green card. It’s not awarded to you. You apply for a green card and, of course, if you get that you become a permanent resident. And my last point is, during the first five years of your green card, you don’t get federal benefits either. So I think it’s a responsible approach to it. It’s not perfect. Nothing is. But it’s certainly a lot better than leaving things the way they are right now.”
Mike Huckabee: “You know listening to the various stages that a person has to go through, I’m not that surprised the Republicans would be for it. It sounds like, you know, like a fairly rigid pathway. I’m surprised the Democrats are going to be for it.”
Mike Huckabee: “Well, Senator, great to have you here and I appreciate your time this afternoon. I think you’re on the right track with the immigration bill. It sounds like it is a very responsible and even-handed approach that I hope Republicans and Democrats can come together on. Because Lord knows, this has been an ongoing problem. Not resolving it is an unacceptable thing. And I commend you for your leadership and trying to get it at least pushed forward.”