Look, I think there's this false argument that's been advanced by the left that conservatism and Republicans are anti-immigrant and anti-immigration. And we're not. Never have been.Much more at the link. (It's an interview conducted by Rush Limbaugh.) You see what Rubio is saying: The President and the congressional Democrats, with the help of the media, have the power to forefront this issue and to make it work powerfully for their political benefit. If the Republicans hang back, they will get portrayed as villains. So it was necessary for Rubio to step forward and be the face of the Republican Party to give it some chance at looking at least somewhat good as this issue plays out.
On the contrary, we are pro-legal immigration. And we recognize that our legal immigration system needs to be reformed. We also recognize, because conservatism's always been about common sense, that we do have an existing problem that needs to be dealt with in the best way possible. Now, it was dealt with in 1986 in a way that was counterproductive. Well-intentioned, but counterproductive because, A, they granted a blanket amnesty to three million people at the time, or that was the estimate, and, B, they didn't do any of the enforcement mechanisms. And so our point is if we're gonna deal with this, let's deal with it once and for all and in a way that this never, ever, happens again....
In the absence of stepping forward with our own principles, the left and the president will tell people what we stand for, and it's not necessarily gonna be true.
January 30, 2013
Rubio: "The president clearly outlined that he was gonna push on [immigration], the media was gonna focus on this..."
"... the Senate Democrats were gonna push on this issue, and I thought it was critically important that we outline the principles of what reform is about."