The Senate, in a 68-32 vote, passes immigration bill that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants while supposedly boosting border security, sending the bill to the House where it faces an uncertain fate.
Senator Rubio ran as a conservative favorite against wavering former Gov. Charlie Christ in the 2010 Florida Senate contest in part by denouncing plans for comprehensive immigration reform, which he dismissed as “amnesty.” Now, just a few years later, he was instrumental in the vote. “I’m not for amnesty,” Crist said in an October 24, 2010 debate with Rubio. After first securing the border, Crist explained, “people should have to get in the back of the line, pay a fine if necessary, their back taxes, and be able to become productive members of the American economy.” As Byron York noted:
Absolutely not, answered Rubio. “Earned path to citizenship’ is basically code for amnesty,” he told Crist. “It is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so.”
In a Rasmussen survey conducted in February, not long after Rubio announced the Gang of Eight immigration proposal, a whole 73% of Republicans had a favorable impression of the Florida senator. In a new Rasmussen survey released just this Monday, that number had fallen to 58% – a 15% bomb. Again as Byron pointed out:
Moreover, the intensity of support among Republicans who still view Rubio favorably has also dropped. In February, 44 percent of Republicans had a very favorable opinion of Rubio. Today the number is less than half that – 21 percent.
The House has spoken of bifurcating the bill to ensure that the border security provisions, which in the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill are frankly a joke, will be in place and enforced before the pathway to citizenship begins. But as far as the Speaker of the House is concerned, the Gang of Eight bill is dead on arrival – DOA. If this goes sour for the Republicans politically, Senator Rubio is largely to blame. Speaker John Boehner told the House Republican Conference on Wednesday morning that the Senate bill remains “a nonstarter” in the House, according to Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz. Look, I like Marco Rubio, and I have said time and time again that I believe his heart is in the right place, but he is naive.
In, Why Border Security is a Problem in the Immigration Reform Debate, I unequivocally demonstrated that Democrats will not enforce the border, “because if they do it will be their demise.” What Rubio does not understand, is that the Democrats need the open border and free-flow of new immigrants to remain politically relevant. The entire history of the Democrats’ success in the last century has been contingent upon the exploitation of new immigrants from different nationalities. As the maturation of the nationalities in the second, third, and fourth generation occur they begin to vote Republican.
The CBO found that illegal immigration will only be reduced by 25% on the upside, and the border security measures can be eliminated single-handily by the Executive Branch. The funding for the border provisions are completely reliant on projected economic savings and fines, penalties and taxes. When those do not pan out, then the Executive Branch will shut it down, because after all, it is in their interest for votes anyway. Marco Rubio’s heart is in the right place, but he was naive. Once a rising star, who Time Magazine called the GOP’s “saving grace,” but now he is finished in the Republican Party. That is exactly what the Democrats wanted, he just didn’t see that – he got played.