By Javier Manjarres
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s recent remarks on immigration reform have prompted both supporters and opponents of a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal immigrants to at least seriously consider the framework for comprehensive immigration reform that he’s proposing.
While Rubio has not elaborated what the policy specifics of his immigration proposal might be, his ideas are catching the attention of congressional Democrats who are no doubt aware of Rubio’s increasing credibility on the issue.
One such Democrat is Congressman Xavier Becerra from California, and he took some time to speak with the Shark Tank about Senator Rubio’s immigration reform ideas-
I think the more we talk about getting it (immigration reform) down, the better. We always welcome voices in Congress that talk about getting something done and fixing the broken immigration system. I welcome any comment that takes us forward. – Rep. Xavier Becerra (D)
When asked his thoughts on Rubio’s proposal for a tax on illegal immigrants who “come out of the shadows,” Becerra said that, “no one’s been proposing amnesty, and everyone has been proposing that folks come out of the shadows, that’s been around for years.”
While it’s not expected that Becerra or anyone else in the Democratic Caucus will openly applaud Rubio’s immigration position, Becerra does agree with Rubio that the U.S. border needs to be secured, as the border region has become a haven for criminal activity, gun-running, illicit drugs, and foreign terrorists who continue to cross the border.
I don’t think there is any space between members of Congress when it comes to trying to ensure we do everything we need to secure our borders, we are a sovereign nation. – Rep. Xavier Becerra
The Dream Act has been a successful tool that has worked to Democrats’ advantage, and was evident last summer when President Obama, who under Executive Order stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants under 30. Becerra, who had been one of the strongest advocates for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, rejoiced after Obama’s Executive Order by stating “this is a new day for dreamers all across America.”
Becerra added that “through President Obama’s leadership, our youth now have the opportunity to put their talents and education to work for the country they know and call home…Let us help our youth walk with ease through this process of achieving their dreams but also take up the work in Congress to fix our broken immigration system at last.”
The recent thrashing that Republicans sustained from Hispanics who supported President Obama by wide margins may very well have softened the hardline position of some Republicans who called for deporting all illegal immigrants regardless of their individual circumstances.
Rubio’s alternative to the blanket and backdoor amnesty policies of Democrats are beginning to gain wider acceptance and could very well become the foundation of the comprehensive immigration reform that ultimately passes Congress.
As Rubio’s prominence on the immigration issue continues to rise, Democrats will increasingly view him as the single greatest threat to their plan to decisively lock down the Hispanic vote in elections to come.
Related: Rubio’s Real Immigration Obstacle
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