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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Rubio Calls for Work Permits with Path to Citizenship for the Undocumented

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Senator Marco Rubio didn't get to address his immigration position in last night's Republican debate, but did weigh in this morning on NPR. He explains that a large comprehensive immigration reform bill isn't viable, but that he would support a three part process to reform our immigration laws. The first step predictably was to prove to the American public that our immigration laws are being enforced through empirical data evidencing the reduction of the flow of illegal immigration. The second prong will be to modernize the legal immigration system to make it merit based.

As for the third prong, he explains the we have to "realistically, but reasonably" deal with the fact that there is a substantial population in this country that is undocumented. He proposes the issuance of work authorization for a period of ten years for individuals that have been in this country who pass a background check. Recent arrivals, and individuals convicted of crimes would be excluded. After the ten year period individuals would be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency just like everyone else though existing channels. Five years after receiving a green card you would then be eligible to apply for citizenship.

This is a substantially better and a more accessible path to citizenship than what was provided in the Senate bill, and immigration reform advocates should take note as in my opinion Rubio is the only candidate in either party that has a realistic chance of getting immigration reform through a Republican controlled congress.

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Comments

  1. Retired INS's Avatar
    I have met a talked to Senator Rubio. I agree with you. His problem is the rest of the Republican party. I am a very conservative Republican, but I spent 39 years with immigration, working both enforcement and benefits. The truth of the immigration problem is not being explained. Donald Trump talked about Operation Wetback with naming it. He made it sound as if the Border Patrol arrested and deported 1.5 million Mexicans. They arrested a few hundred thousand Mexicans and the rest returned to Mexico on their own. The INS claimed 1.3 million in total left, but nobody really knows the number. Things were different in the 1950s. Most illegal Mexicans were in the border states. Today illegal aliens, including Mexicans, are in every state in large numbers. If we tried to arrest that many aliens we would quickly run out of jail space (I know because I made the calls to find local jails to house the illegals we arrested.)

    I was taught by Border Patrol agents who worked in the 1940s through 1970s. They did not hate Mexicans. They taught me to treat arrested aliens with dignity. I learned over time that deporting people you plan to bring back is a very bad idea. They have been here for years. They have no home to return to. Deportation will bankrupt the very people we may bring back. Why would we want to do that? I could go on and on about why Trump is wrong about anchor babies - they result in very few parents immigrating after 21 years (about 15,000 a year compared to 100,000 a year for parents of naturalized citizens).
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