Marco Rubio Could Bring Big Rewards With Risky Immigration Plan

Marco Rubio

Tuesday, the “gang of eight” will deliver a bipartisan comprehensive immigration plan.  The panel consists of four Republicans and four Democrats.  It will provide the first change in United States immigration policy since 1986.

Among the plan’s features is expected to be a “path to citizenship” for as many as 11 million immigrants who are in the country illegally.

The central figure of the “gang of eight” is Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican.

His family is originally from Cuba, and before the panel was established, his involvement was considered essential to the creation of a plan that could have a chance of attaining the acceptance of ultra-conservatives.

Senator Rubio appeared on seven Sunday talk shows promoting the bipartisan agreement.  From the beginning, the TEA Party favorite has been the critical component on the panel.

Senator Rubio’s plan for 2016, to win a bid for the White House, may take a great leap forward thanks to this historic legislation.  But it also contains great risk.

A drastic shift in Hispanic support from Democrats to Republicans would surely be the benefit.  A loss of extreme right wing support could be a detriment.

Shortly after Senator Rubio concluded his television appearances, Numbers USA, a conservative anti-immigration group, issued a statement denouncing the “Obama-Rubio-Schumer” deal. And Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) charged that his colleagues had “abandoned” a pledge to make border security the highest priority.  These groups, believing that thousands of miles of fences with towers monitoring them, are opposed to any and all plans to change the nation’s immigration policy.

Senator Rubio’s staunchest resistance will come from his own party.  When he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Congress, CPAC, earlier this year, he intentionally omitted any mention of immigration reform.

Throughout his appearances Sunday, he stressed that the plan does not include any form of amnesty.  During the possible 13 years necessary to receive citizenship, the eleven million immigrants will not receive any federal benefits.  The plan will increase border security, and increase requirements verifying employment, and legal residence within the country.

There are those extremists who continue to believe 12 million people should be deported.  Facing the unreality and impossibility, government may finally accomplish its first logical legislation in some time.  Common sense appears to be winning over vengeful emotion and prejudice.

Even Karl Rove, the former political adviser to President George W. Bush who is known as a hard-nosed partisan strategist, welcomed the cooperation on immigration.

“The Democrats and Republicans here have tried to cobble together a bill that is thoughtful, sensitive, tough, and with an eye toward getting something done,” Mr. Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

One of the reasons Mitt Romney was defeated by Mr. Obama in November is that he appeared weak, and refused to take a definitive stand on the most sensitive issues facing our country.  He pandered to whichever group was listening to him.

Senator Rubio may receive some negative impact from his support of immigration reform.  But, I believe the positive effects will far surpass those minimal complaints.  Courageous acts far outweigh acts of cowardice.

If Republicans learned anything from the Presidential election, they witnessed the American public support a candidate who adamantly told voters what they wanted to hear, whether he meant it or not.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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