Senator Marco Rubio, apparently sensing there’s no open field to the right of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on immigration, admitted Sunday that he supported leaving illegal immigrants right where they are. In a Meet the Press interview, Rubio said that illegal immigrants who haven’t committed any serious felonies should be allowed to stay in the U.S.
“If you’re a criminal alien, no, you can’t stay,” he said. “If you’re someone that hasn’t been here for a very long time, you can’t stay. I don’t think you’re going to round up and deport 12 million people.”
Hmm, where have we heard that kind of policy before? Oh right, it’s the very one we’ve heard President Obama espousing for the last seven years. Rubio apparently yearns for the good old days when voters couldn’t tell the difference between their presidential contenders on election day. But he’s a poor fit in a year where it couldn’t be clearer what the conservative base demands.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are crushing in the polls, and their dominance is largely due to their uncompromising stance on illegal immigration. Voters don’t want to hear talk of how it is an “act of love” to violate our laws and take up residence illegally in our country. Workers don’t want to hear about how we should let 12 million illegal aliens stay in the country and take jobs away from U.S. citizens.
Let’s talk about that assertion, though, because it’s one we’ve heard from every establishment Republican in the race, save Trump. This idea that it is impossible to deport every illegal immigrant. Why is it so impossible? It’s a gargantuan, expensive undertaking, absolutely. But impossible? If we had a president with the political will, it wouldn’t be impossible. Needless? That can be argued. But our country only runs into the impossible when the objective isn’t clear.
The ship has sailed when it comes to luring Hispanics over from the Democratic Party with weak immigration strategies. It’s not even clear that it would have ever happened, anyway. It was a foolish idea based on a transparent platform of pandering that has nothing to do with what’s best for the country. Best for businesses that depend on undocumented employers? Sure. Best for Wall Street? Perhaps. Best for America as a whole? What possible argument could be made?
If Rubio has one, he’d better start making it fast. Then again, he needn’t bother. Anything that can be said, we’ve already heard from Obama.