Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, Senator Marco Rubio defends and promotes the Gang of Eight's immigration bill. Here remarks released by his Senate office:
“As far as the economy of the United States, a couple points. First of all, you can’t compare this bill to nothing, you have to compare it to what we have now. And what we have now is worse. What we have now is costing our economy. You have people in this country illegally, they get sick, they go to the emergency room, and the tax payer pays for it. You have people in this country that are having children, who are U.S. citizens and they go to our schools. They are driving in our streets without a driver’s license, which means they have no car insurance – which means all of us have to pay more in car insurance as a result. This is not good for us, it’s obviously not good for them, but it’s not good for us. What we have today is devastating and horrible for our economy. We can’t continue to have this, we have to fix this problem, and we have to fix it in a way that is fair to the people that have done it the right way, and fix it in a way that makes sure that this never ever happens again. And I believe that the bill we are working on does that. And I look forward to the input that my colleagues have.
“One more criticism I hear, ‘It’s being rushed through.’ That’s just not true. Just yesterday we voted on a series of amendments that I had less than twelve hours to review. And these amendments dealt with a fundamental right, the Second Amendment constitutional right. This bill has been online already for 48 hours. The Committee on Judiciary won’t even begin to consider amendments to this bill until next month. People are going to have three to four weeks to review it. It’s posted on my website, people can go on there now and see it. And beyond that, it will be available all these weeks, then it is going to go through an extensive committee process, then it will be brought here - hopefully to the floor - where we can debate it openly as well. Look, I am not claiming the bill is perfect – I am sure it can be improved. And I hope my 92 other colleagues will work hard to improve it, because we have an opportunity to do something important.
“My last point I address to many of my fellow Americans who share my deep commitment to upholding the Constitution of the United States, to limiting the size and scope of government, to encouraging the free enterprise system as the best way to create economic opportunity. America is a nation of immigrants, but both Republicans and Democrats have failed to enforce our immigration laws, and as a result we have millions of people here illegally. We are not going to deport them. So let’s secure the border, and let’s identify these people – let’s undergo a background check, get in the back of the line, pay a fine, pay taxes, no federal benefits. We all wish we didn’t have this problem, but leaving it the way it is, it’s amnesty. We have to solve this problem, and I hope we will.”