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Rubio: A Real Cost Estimate Must Account For Immigration’s Positive Contributions

Apr 14, 2013 | Press Releases

FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace
April 14, 2013
Full Interview:


Rubio: “This is not amnesty. Amnesty is the forgiveness of something. Amnesty is anything that says, ‘Do it illegally. It’s going to be cheaper and easier.’ Here’s what people need to understand. Under the existing law today, if you are illegally in the United States, you are not prohibited from getting a green card and ultimately getting citizenship. The only thing is you have to go back to your home country, you have to wait 10 years and then you can apply for it. And all we’re saying is we’re going to create an alternative to that. That will still be in place, but we’re going to create an alternative that says, ‘OK, you want to stay here? You’ll have to wait more than 10 years, you’ll have to pay this fine, you’ll have to pay this registration fee, you’ll have to be gainfully employed, you won’t qualify for any federal benefits and, then after all that, you don’t get into apply for anything until the enforcement mechanisms are in place. And I would argue to you that it will be  cheaper, faster and easier for people to go back home and wait 10 years than it will be to go through this process I’ve outlined. That’s why it’s not amnesty. And bottom line is we don’t award anything. You have to qualify and apply for it, and that’s the key distinction. If somehow being in this country is cheaper, easier and quicker than doing it the right way, I wouldn’t support that.”


Wallace: “Conservative critics, including The Heritage Foundation think tank, say that this plan – your plan – is going to be a budget-buster. They say that these immigrants, once they get this temporary legal status, will be able to get all kinds of federal welfare programs, they’re going to qualify for ObamaCare, that this is going to be a big net drain on our treasury.”

Rubio: “First of all, we don’t have a bill [introduced], so I don’t think they’ve issued an analysis yet. But that’s not true. Under this plan, not only do you not qualify for any federal benefits while you’re in the legal status. Under existing law, you don’t qualify for any federal benefits for the first five years on a green card either. Second, in order to qualify and keep this legal status, you must be gainfully employed and you must be paying taxes. Third, in order to get a green card in the future, you must prove you’ve been gainfully employed and that you can support yourself. So the bottom line is that’s just not accurate.

“Now here’s the other point I would make. Conservatives love dynamic scoring, which a complicated way of saying you look at a budget issue not just for the costs but for the benefits associated with it. That’s what we’ve always pushed for. That’s why, for example, when we talk about tax cuts, we don’t think tax cuts cost the government money. We think tax cuts help the government generate more revenue because it creates economic growth. All I’m asking for is that for this plan to be reviewed through that standard – the same conservative dynamic scoring that we apply to tax cuts. Because I am confident that if you do that – and some have already started doing that – you will find that when we reform our legal immigration system, we get these people that are already here now paying their taxes and not taking anything out of the system, this will be a net positive for the country economically now and in the future. Otherwise it’s not worth doing.”


NBC’s Meet The Press with David Gregory
April 14, 2013
Full Interview:


Rubio: “Obviously there’s political ramifications to everything we do in Washington, but it’s not the reason to do it and it certainly isn’t the reason why I’m involved in doing this. I’m involved in doing this because I think what we have now is terrible for the United States of America. We have a legal immigration system that does not work. It does not reflect the economic needs of this country in the 21st Century. It needs to be modernized and our agreement will do that. It will modernize the legal immigration system in a way that is more merit based and jobs based and less based on whether you know someone who already lives here – and that’s an important development. Along with the ability for people to access the workforce in the high-tech fields, et cetera.

“The second thing this does, is it puts in place effective enforcement mechanisms unlike anything we’ve ever had in the history of this country before. My last point on this, I think Republicans can do a better job reaching out to everyone in the United States. Politics is always about getting the support of the majority of our people. And I think the best way to do that is for the Republican party to prove, as I think we can, that we are the party of upward mobility. We are not the party of the people who have made it. Certainly we don’t begrudge people who have made it – we celebrate what they have done. In America we’ve always celebrated success. But we are the party for the people trying to make it, the people who are trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of their home, who are trying to give their kids a better life. And the only way that’s possible is through the American free enterprise system which the Democrats and the left are undermining.”