The Corner

Rubio Won’t Support Bill That ‘Does Not Secure Our Borders’

In response to Charles Krauthammer’s latest column on immigration reform, a spokesman for Senator Marco Rubio tells National Review Online that the senator will not support an immigration-reform bill that “repeats past mistakes and does not secure our borders.”

“The larger issue that Krauthammer raises about not repeating past mistakes is very important,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant writes in an e-mail. “Senator Rubio agrees that whatever we pass now must not allow for millions of new illegal immigrants coming to the United States in the future. That’s why the bipartisan group has endorsed the creation of real triggers to ensure that we have real border security, workplace enforcement and an exit-visa system as part of any reform.”

Conant declined, however, to comment specifically on Krauthammer’s claims about the “enforcement trigger” under consideration by the Gang of Eight, noting that the group’s negotiations are ongoing.

Krauthammer described the group’s plan as follows: The Department of Homeland Security would be required submit a plan “to achieve within a decade 90 percent apprehension and 100 percent real-time surveillance,” and to do so within six to nine months after reform legislation is signed; once that plan is submitted, illegal immigrants would be granted legal status.

The columnist expressed concern that merely requiring DHS to submit an enforcement plan was a “very weak” trigger for legalization, especially given that Secretary Janet Napolitano recently dismissed the idea of an enforcement trigger altogether. She has also argued that the U.S. border is as “secure as it’s even been.”

“It’s no secret this Administration does not want more border security,” Conant writes, “but in our negotiations, the Senate Democrats have agreed to real triggers that will last longer than Obama’s presidency and no undocumented immigrant who remains in the country will ever be allowed to apply for green card unless tough security triggers are met.” 

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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