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The 'Rubio-Obama' immigration plan

by @MarcACaputo

The White House has said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's immigration plans, which could legalize the status of some of those unlawfully in the country, "bode well for a productive, bipartisan debate."

A reason for that optimism: Rubio's ideas and comments closely mirror those of President Obama in a 2011 policy speech in El Paso Texas.

"This is the Rubio-Obama immigration plan," Mark Krikorian, head of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, told Mother Jones.

"There's nothing substantive in Rubio's proposal that wouldn't immediately be agreed to by President Obama," he said, noting that President George W. Bush proposed a similar plan in 2006 that many Congressional Republicans helped kill.

With the Republican Party far more opposed to immigration reform than Democrats, conservative commentators have praised Rubio for his boldness. But they've also glossed over the fact that Obama proposed similar ideas.

Not only do Rubio and Obama's plans create a similar type of amnesty for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, the two politicians have used similar language.

Here's Obama unveiling his plan in May 2011, relatively little-reported at the time:

"Those who are here illegally, they have a responsibility as well.  So they broke the law, and that means they’ve got to pay their taxes, they’ve got to pay a fine, they’ve got to learn English.  And they’ve got to undergo background checks and a lengthy process before they get in line for legalization.  That’s not too much to ask."

Here's Rubio in the Wall Street Journal on the undocumented:

"They would have to come forward. They would have to undergo a background check...They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove they've been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country."

Neither Obama nor Rubio have issued bills. So it's unclear what the real specific policy differences would be on many of the finer details. Recent news reports say Obama wants a "pathway to citizenship."

But details about the latest Obama plan are even scarcer than details of Rubio's proposal. Rubio also doesn't believe his plan is a " blanket amnesty" because immigrants would have to pay penalties.

Also, national reporters describe Obama as seeking a "pathway to citizenship" in May 2011. But he never said that phrase in his speech or his written plan. Obama never specified what "legalization" is. Even if Obama has changed his mind, it's a good indication the president and Rubio agree far more than they disagree about "legalization."

The two did have a disagreement regarding a pathway to citizenship vs. a pathway to legal residency regarding the proposed DREAM Act, which would allow those brought to this country as children to legally remain if they go to college or the military.

Obama wanted a pathway to citizenship. Rubio called for a residency pathway. Rubio shelved his plan, he says temporarily, after Obama used the framework of the Republican's plan in an executive action that stopped deporting these young people.

More broadly, the president and Rubio share similar policies and rhetoric regarding the need for more farm workers.

Rubio in the Journal: ""The goal is to give American agriculture a reliable work force and to give protection to these workers as well."

Obama in May: "We need to provide our farms a legal way to hire workers that they rely on, and a path for those workers to earn legal status."

Both Rubio and Obama have said that businesses should be punished for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. And they believe this protects lawful workers as well as the immigrants.

Rubio in the Journal: "When someone is [undocumented] they're vulnerable to being exploited."

Obama in May: "Also, because undocumented immigrants live in the shadows... they’re vulnerable to unscrupulous businesses that skirt taxes, and pay workers less than the minimum wage, or cut corners with health and safety laws."

Both Rubio and Obama want more highly skilled immigration.

Rubio: "I don't think that in the 21st century we can continue to have an immigration system where only 6.5% of people who come here, come here based on labor and skill. We have to move toward merit and skill-based immigration...I don't think there's a lot of concern in this country that we'll somehow get overrun by Ph.D.s and entrepreneurs."

Obama: "Our existing policies provide limited avenues for talented and industrious individuals to work and reside in the U.S. For example, each year, we provide approximately 400,000 visas to foreign-born students seeking to enroll in U.S. colleges and universities, but then force them to leave the country to compete against us when they graduate. In addition, it is difficult for talented entrepreneurs who wish to start companies and create jobs in the U.S. to enter and remain in the country."

One obvious difference, at least regarding their rhetoric, appears to be the issue of border security. Rubio says more needs to be done.

Obama says his administration has and is doing enough. In May, he said that border enforcement increased on his watch while construction proceeded on a border fence (something that some in the crowd hated. He suggested opponents want to "move the goal posts" on border enforcement to delay real reform.

"They said we needed to triple the Border Patrol.  Or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol," he said. "Or they’ll want a higher fence.  Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics."

The moat-and-alligators comment enraged Republicans at the time. They said rhetoric like that showed Obama was more interested in scoring political points and giving speeches. Indeed, after Obama released his plan, the White House largely stopped talking about it.

Now Obama is moving again on immigration reform but White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the Republican senator's plan was a good start.

Carney: "The reports about Senator Rubio's ideas bode well for a productive, bipartisan debate, which we hope will start in earnest soon after the inauguration. We hope that it signals a change in the Republican approach to this issue, because if we are going to get this done, it's going to take more than just a handful of Republicans working across the aisle. It's a kind of thing, comprehensive immigration reform, that requires significant bipartisan support. And he hopes that this augers well for the future."

Why not? It's pretty much what Obama asked for 20 months ago.

Comments

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Brittanicus

BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE..?

It’s yet another form of corruption where illegal immigration has become a standard of big business “Ruling the Roost”. After the 1986 promise never to submit a bill for another Comprehensive Immigration Reform or some type of Amnesty, Obama and his mob of Inquisitors who don’t respect the Constitution are pushing for another Path to Citizenship for 20 million plus foreign nationals who spit on our laws. Another policy as before will just attract millions more people in poverty adding to our own. The quota system years back worked very well, but it was not good enough for the special interests, organized religion, unions and other inept organizations. Certain nationalities gained a working visa to enter the United States and it was a FAIR AND EQUITY way for individuals to immigrate. All we have to do is enforce the laws we have now, including passing most prominent laws that sit dormant ready to be voted on? These are Legal Workforce Act and the Birthright Citizenship bill. In the long run these laws could save taxpayers Trillions of dollars in education, health treatments for every illegal family, homes for low income and a load of benefits for the children of illegal aliens smuggled calculatingly into America. Using E-Verify and its growing innovations to electronically locate and deport illegal workers in jobs, which should belong to the 24 millions of Americans and the less fortunate existing on the streets. Our population is growing every year from legal and illegal immigration, with a proportion managing to gain entrance through CHAIN MIGRATION of immediate family members and there is a rising need to reduce it, otherwise we will have shortages of portable water, energy supplies and chaos on the crumbling road systems and retirement for people who never paid a cent into the system. Learn more from around the country with the lies and propaganda from the Liberal Progressives from the true believer in the Rule of Law at the “AMERICAN PATROL site.

Then again, until the special interest money is taken away from Congress, the general public hardly has any say in the policies of any administration? The rot inside the beltway is so intense, the little guy, the small politicians with expectations becomes malleable to their own parties. Ron Paul is correct that the Federal Reserve is as corrupt as any lawmaker. The 41 million plus TEA PARTY states that if you grew up in the in the 1950s and 1960s, you remember a time when the average husband could easily support his family – without putting his wife to work. You remember a banking system that was a good, honest steward of your money. And you remember when a dollar was a dollar… and every dime and quarter was made of 90% silver. Today, millions of two-income families are struggling to make ends meet. The same $1 that once bought you three gallons of gas will only buy you one-third of a gallon. And the price of everything else, from health care to food to electricity and even college tuition continues to soar. Make no mistake; this dollar crisis is destroying the American middle class. And one organization has been its chief architect: The Federal Reserve. Did you know…Thanks to the actions of the Fed, the basic necessities of life have become so expensive, according to a recent National Retirement Confidence Survey, 70% of American workers plan to work for pay after they retire. It’s true.

And I’m sure you’ve noticed how much harder it is to plan for the future and confidently invest in the stock market. Everything we’ve worked for is at risk of being taken away. All the wars Americans have died for to claim our freedom from dictatorship, is slowly fading as those in power are accumulating votes by pampering not only illegal aliens but the freeloaders, who have no intention of working for a living. All those people who voted for King Obama and his Imperial court must be mystified by more and more dollars being extracted by his administration and not just from wealthy amongst us. And a growing number of Americans are saying, “Enough is enough. This madness has to stop!” Here at The Project to Restore America – we fully support Ron Paul’s push to Audit the Fed. And we’re encouraged to see a new bill has been introduced by Congressman Paul Broun this year. But a major showdown waits in Washington DC, where powerful forces are plotting to crush any attempt to bring transparency to the Federal Reserve. My question to you is – will you let them to continue to gut the value of the dollar… or… choose to fight back? I’m not asking for your money. Nor am I asking you to attend a political rally. But we need to let our Congressmen hear this message loud and clear: It’s time to Audit the Fed! We’ve created a special one-click petition that will ensure your Congressman knows where you stand in the weeks ahead. If you are with me and share in Ron Paul’s sentiments on this issue go to “The Project to Restore America”. As individuals we may be helpless to challenge the powers that be. But together we are strong enough to flood Washington with support for this historic bill…and return fiscal sanity to our country.

A

your comment is insane. live in your own world.

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