There’s an ongoing battle about immigration reform in Washington, D.C. Critics of Florida’s Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio are using his views on immigration reform as a talking point as he mulls a possible presidential bid in 2016. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D) South Florida, claims:
"Marco Rubio needs to first figure out which way the wind is blowing when it comes to committing on his position on any given issue. He was for immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship before he was against it. It is really unfortunate that he has chosen the most politically expedient path on issues that matter the most to people here in Florida."
PolitiFact Florida rated the claim for its truthfulness. Writer Joshua Gillin said the claim rates MOSTLY FALSE. According to Gillin, the only thing Rubio’s views on immigration date back a couple years.
“In 2013, Marco Rubio was part of a bi-partisan group in the Senate that put forth a bill that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to declare their status and work towards getting a green card,” Gillin said.
That legislation eventually failed and Rubio decided to pursue a different strategy. Instead of one package several caveats, Rubio decided he would support a series of bills to change immigration laws.
The Republican Senator’s latest position is found in his new book: American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone. In it, Rubio lays out his case for handling illegal immigrants who are already living in the U.S.
The three step process starts with a registration process for illegal immigrants. The process would sort out criminals and those who haven’t been in the country long enough. The next step is paying an application fee and paying a fine, along with undergoing a background check and learning English to quality for a temporary visa. The final step is ten years later, when the people would be allowed to apply for permanent residency.
Experts agree that the core of Rubio’s policy ideal has stayed the same, but some say the piecemeal approach to passing immigration reform would greatly reduce the chance that Congress would ever get to the point of addressing residency and citizenship. Because of those facts, PolitiFact rated the claim MOSTLY FALSE.
SOURCES: IMMIGRATION REFORM
- PolitiFact's rating
- Sun-Sentinel, "Wasserman Schultz slams Rubio, says Republicans afraid to stand up to bigots in their own party," Jan. 23, 2015
- Sen. Marco Rubio, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, 2015
- Charlie Rose Show, Conversation with Marco Rubio, Jan. 14, 2015
- CNN Wolf Blitzer Transcript, Interview with Sen. Marco Rubio, Jan. 13, 2015
- Simon Conway interview, Sen. Marco Rubio and Joni Ernst, June 2, 2014
- Miami Herald, "Sen. Marco Rubio breaks deafening silence on Syria," Aug. 28, 2013
- Miami Herald, "How Marco Rubio lost his tea party credibility," Sept. 1, 2013
- Miami Herald, "Rubio: Distrust of Obama hurts immigration reform," Jan. 9, 2014
- Miami Herald, "Wasserman Schultz and Priebus mislead over immigration, but Democrats have electoral edge," Jan. 25, 2015
- Tampa Bay Times, "Rubio’s platform for a run in 2016?" Jan. 12, 2015
- Naples Daily News, "Sen. Marco Rubio," Jan. 8, 2015
- Wall Street Journal, "Rubio’s new tone on immigration loud and clear," Aug. 28, 2014
- POLITICO, "Rubio tries to thread immigration needle," Jan. 6, 2015
- New York Times Magazine, "If he does run, Marco Rubio won’t let friendship get in his way," Dec. 31, 2014
- National Journal, "Marco Rubio’s book has a new immigration plan, but he won’t apologize for his old one," Jan. 6, 2015
- Fox News Transcript, "Sen. Rubio on Washington’s failure to address border crisis, fallout from House resolution to sue the president," Aug. 3, 2014
- Bloomberg, "Rubio backs focus on border security over reversing Obama’s orders," Jan. 21, 2015
- Vox, "The GOP’s border bill would be a disaster," Jan. 26, 2015
- PolitiFact, "Sen. Marco Rubio says immigration bill is not amnesty," April 17, 2013
- PolitiFact, "Fact-checking immigration: a year-end report," Jan. 2, 2014
- Interview, Alex Conant, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Jan. 27, 2015
- Interview, Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at Cato Institute, Jan. 27, 2015
- Interview, Steven Camarota, spokesman Center for Immigration Studies, Jan. 27, 2015
- Interview, Rebecca Chalif, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, Jan. 27, 2015
- Interview, Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, Jan. 29, 2015