ImmigrationSen. Rubio says Gang of Eight proposal not “amnesty”

Published 15 April 2013

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) rejected arguments Sunday that the Senate immigration bill offers amnesty for illegal immigrants. Rubio has been subjected to pressure from opponents of immigration overhaul, who charge that he went back on his commitment to border security as a condition to immigration reform.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reasserts that immigration plan is not amnesty // Source:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) rejected arguments Sunday that the Senate immigration bill offers amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Rubio has been subjected to  pressure from GOP senators such as Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) who oppose the Gang of Eight’s immigration overhaul proposal, and the National ICE Council, a union which represents thousands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. The leadership of the union has been a persistent critic of the Obama administration.

Fox News reports that last week, Sessions told ABCthat the bipartisan group of senators appears to be giving amnesty with the “promise” of border enforcement.

Rubio responded said on Fox News Sunday, saying that anyone living in the United States illegally, who is attempting to get a visa, would face a laundry list of qualifications which include paying back taxes and fines, acquiring employment, and waiting a minimum of ten years.

“That is not amnesty,” Rubio, a Cuban-American considered a key member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight, said. “Amnesty is the forgiveness of something.”

Rubio also told Fox that tracking illegal immigration in and out of the United States and improving the E-Verify system are equally important.

“All three work together,” Rubio said. “All three have to happen.”

ICE Council president Chris Crane told reporters last Friday that an outline of the bill gives legalization before border enforcement, meaning Rubio did not live up to his “commitment to the American people” and as a result should leave the bipartisan group.

Rubio has said numerous times in recent weeks that securing the border is one part of the plan and that a 90 percent border apprehension rate within the next five years will be an indication that the border has been secured, triggering the implementation of the immigration reform..

“The Department of Homeland Security will have five years to meet that goal,” Rubio told Fox.