Senator Marco Rubio initially tried Tuesday to skirt a question over whether he still supports a path to citizenship for some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, as he did in 2013 when he helped draft and pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate.
According to Huffington Post, he has said and repeated again during Tuesday debate that border security and immigration enforcement must come first, then reform of the legal immigration system. He asserted that when the issues surrounding this policies are settled then the undocumented immigrants will get 10 years probationary work permit.in his own words; “only after those policy battles are settled could undocumented immigrants begin a process to get 10-year probationary work permits.”
Green cards after 10 years’ probation for immigrants
CNN‘s Dana Bash pointed out, though, that he hadn’t really answered the question: What about citizenship? “I am personally open, after all of that has happened and after 10 years in that probationary status where all they have is a work permit, I personally am open to allowing people to apply for a green card,” Rubio said. “That may not be a majority position in my party. But that’s down the road.”
Rubio interestingly accused Senator Ted Cruz of largely sharing his views on immigration, to the chagrin of Cruz, who shook his head the whole time with a demeaning look on his face. “I led the fight against his legalization and amnesty bill.” Cruz said in defense.
Rubio, to the appreciation of immigration reporters everywhere, asked Cruz whether he would rule out legal status for undocumented immigrants who are already here. “I have never supported legalization and I do not intend to support legalization.” Cruz said.