Senator Marco Rubio and Donald Trump duel on amnesty

Marco Rubio is starting to climb in the polls. Why wouldn’t he? He has witty lines about the Democratic Party’s top supporter being the mainstream media and speaks so smooth it melts hearts of conservatives seeking to feel hopelessly warm and fuzzy. He speaks well and can say mean things about Hillary Clinton. He must be a conservative, right?

Maybe he’s a nice guy, but he’s a confused politician. This morning on Fox News, he attempted to rip Donald Trump by stating “Donald was a supporter of amnesty and of the DREAM Act and he changed his position on those issues just to run for President.”

This is likely in response to Donald Trump tweeting a Brietbart article about Rubio’s support of amnesty, adding the comment “Marco Rubio would keep Barack Obama’s executive order on amnesty intact. See article. Cannot be President.”

In regards to Trump’s supposed support of amnesty, the facts state otherwise.

Trump, for example, wrote in “The America We Deserve” back in 2000:

America is experiencing serious social and economic difficulty with illegal immigrants who are flooding across our borders. We simply can’t absorb them. It is a scandal when America cannot control its own borders. A liberal policy of immigration may seem to reflect confidence and generosity. But our current laxness toward illegal immigration shows a recklessness and disregard for those who live here legally.

He then discussed the benefits of legal immigrants, before stating “It comes down to this: we must take care of our own people first. Our policy to people born elsewhere should be clear: Enter by the law, or leave.”

Donald Trump then writes in “Time To Get Tough” in 2011:

The root cause of all the welfare payments to illegal aliens is the so-called “anchor baby” phenomenon, which is when illegal immigrant mothers have a baby on American soil. The child automatically becomes an American citizen, Though this was NEVER the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “All citizens born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.” The clear purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, was to guarantee full citizenship rights to now emancipated former slaves. It was not intended to guarantee untrammeled immigration to the United States.

Trump would later state at CPAC in 2013 that a majority of illegal immigrants would end up voting Democratic and labeled Republican efforts to back them a “suicide mission.”

Trump has his own problems, but let’s not shy from Senator Rubio.

The Brietbart article that Trump tweeted discusses Senator Rubio’s interview with Jorge Ramos on Univision. In that interview, Ramos asked Senator Rubio regarding President Barack Obama’s 2012 “executive amnesty” that is often criticized by conservative activists. Senator Rubio’s response:

We have two executive actions. The first was DACA which applies to young people that arrived in this country very young age before they were adults and I don’t think we can immediately revoke that. I think it will have to end at some point, and I hope it will end because of some reform to the immigration laws. It cannot be the permanent policy of the United States but I’m not calling for it to be revoked tomorrow or this week or right away.

Brietbart author Julia Hahn follows up discussing the legislative history of the DREAM Act:

Over the years, the DREAM Act has been defeated on numerous occasions in Congress. For instance, it was rejected in the Senate when Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) pushed it in 2010, and it was rejected when the House blocked Rubio’s immigration bill in 2013. What Rubio and Obama are arguing is that, even though voters rejected it, that decision cannot be allowed to stand — and that the only two scenarios are to live under an executive DREAM Act or a legislative substitute.

The problem with the “executive amnesty” has multiple layers and Senator Rubio loses himself in feel-good politics and rhetoric. Who wouldn’t love to save the world? It’s a horrible world out there. ISIS is tearing apart the Middle East, human trafficking and slavery is very real in parts of the world, and Cubans illegally immigrating are taken advantage of by gangs who smuggle them.

While deporting everyone with the flick of the switch is not a financially sound idea, the door simply cannot be left open. There is a limit to what our country can sustain, especially when factoring in the amounts of government assistance these people are receiving. This isn’t heartless, it’s considering the human reality of the situation and the actual limits of our abilities.

There is also the issue of the Constitution and the legal problems with simply granting millions of illegal immigrants citizenship status. Again, it’s feel-good politics, but it’s not sustainable.

Instead, Senator Rubio opts to side with a President who has no idea how to balance a budget or control his spending and oppose the better judgment of any fiscal conservative who knows what is actually going on with this country.

At this point, we can easily assess two points: Senator Rubio is out-of-touch with conservative activists and he is the chief authority on amnesty in the Republican primary.

We can also deduce an additional fact here: that in trying to be the next anti-Trump, he fails miserably, just as others like Senator Rand Paul have.

Senator Rubio should stick to being a linguistic ninja and trying to smooth people over with cheap rhetoric. Trying to point out how someone else is worse than him doesn’t seem to work out so well.

Chris Dixon

About Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon is a libertarian-leaning writer and managing editor for The Liberty Conservative. In addition to his political writing, he also covers baseball for Cleat Geeks and enjoys writing on a number of other topics ranging on Medium.