Senator Marco Rubio on Wednesday emphasized that he thinks border-security concerns will be the “centerpiece” of the Senate immigration bill.
Discussing the issue on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Rubio said that the bill proposes “temporary legalization” for illegal immigrants already in the country, and then green cards and permanent residency only some years later, which will only be issued to those who apply and pay the required fees. Rubio proposed a new amendment to the bill on Tuesday that will require proficiency in English in order for illegal immigrants to obtain green cards. “We want these people to be successful in America,” he explained; proficiency is already a requirement for those applying for citizenship.
Border security, however, “will be the central issue of debate here over the next two weeks,” the senator said. If an adequate plan for security is not put into place, he said, “we are wasting our time.”
“People don’t trust the Department of Homeland Security,” Rubio continued, so he supports putting a security plan – one that would close the border within 5 years — into the legislation itself.
Rubio also suggested that the fines from the temporary legalization process will be used to fund efforts to secure the border, lessening the burden on the American taxpayer (Gang member Lindsey Graham expressed concerns earlier this week about the potential cost of an exhaustive border-security system).