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Marco Rubio on immigration, the DREAM Act

From the National Review Online (which also asks Republican Sen. Marco Rubio about his endorsement of presidential candidate Mitt Romney and ObamaCare):

NRO: I saw that you are offering what is being characterized as a revised or reformed version of the DREAM Act, and I notice the editors of the New York Times didn’t like it. I’m sure their lack of approval stuns you and has you all torn up inside. Could you walk us through your proposal and how it differs from previous versions?

Rubio: Well, we don’t have a formal proposal yet; all we’ve discussed is concepts. I think the vast majority of Americans understand that if you were four years old when you were brought here, you grew up in this country your whole life, and you’re now a valedictorian of a high school or are a high-achieving academic person, and have much to contribute to our future, I think most Americans, the vast majority of Americans find that compelling and want to accommodate that.

The problem is that all of the existing policy proposals that are out there like the DREAM Act create amnesty. They create incentives for illegal immigration, chain migration, and all sorts of problems. What I have said is that I believe we can deal with these kids and these circumstances without making all of the DREAM Act’s mistakes.

That’s what I have talked about. There’s no specific proposal, but I hope that it will be bipartisan, although I doubt it will be. As the New York Times has shown, writing an editorial denouncing a piece of legislation that doesn’t exist yet, the Democrats and the Left are terrified of losing this issue. They don’t want to solve this issue; they want this issue to remain out there because they want to use it as a political tool. If and when we are able to come up with a conservative-Republican alternative DREAM Act that deals with the issues of these kids without undermining our heritage as a nation of laws, when we do that, we are going to expose the political reality behind this.

There are many on the left who want this issue to stick around, because they want to use it for political gain. They’re not nearly as interested in solving it from a policy perspective. Not all — I’m not saying all of them. I’m sure there are many who legitimately want to address this issue. We’ll see soon enough who’s who around here.