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Marco Rubio 2009: “You cannot grant amnesty”

Marco Rubio 2009: “You cannot grant amnesty”

It’s fairly well known that prior to his role in the Gang of 8, Marco Rubio was opposed to an across the board amnesty, and was critical of the 1986 amnesty.

In this October 2009 interview, uncovered by Morgen Richmond (formerly of Verum Serum), Rubio takes a particularly hard line, insisting that “you cannot grant amnesty,” and going on to explain how amnesty undermines the entire immigration system going forward.

The interview is pretty devastating to Rubio’s role in the Gang of 8 immigration bill which puts legalization and a path to citizenship ahead of enforcement of current laws and securing both the borders and the visa system (starting at 0:38):

The problem is the American people have no trust in the federal government, and they’re not going to have a trust in the federal government until the federal government deals with the issue of illegal immigration. Until the federal government gives people confidence that the law is being enforced, that the border is being secured, that our visa process is no longer being abused.

So I think step one is to enforce our existing laws. Secure our borders, fix our visa entry problem…deal with the illegal immigration problem first.

When the American people have confidence that the federal government has done that then we can move to step two. And step two is create a legal immigration that works, that once again is a positive for America.

You cannot grant amnesty. If you grant amnesty you will send a message that all you have to do is come into America illegally, stay here long enough, and we will let you stay.

Number 2, you will destroy any hopes you have of having a legal immigration system that works. If the American people see us grant amnesty they will never again believe in legal immigration, they will never again support it. And that’s wrong for our country, bad for our future.

In fact in ’86 when Reagan created an amnesty program, about 3 million people were granted amnesty. The result was that you had a bunch of people standing in line to enter legally who all claimed to be illegal because it was easier to get through the amnesty program. So we can’t have amnesty.

And I think if you have a guest worker program in place that functions, the illegal folks that are here now will go back home through attrition.

Update: The Shark Tank has an interview with Rubio from February 2009 in which Rubio also came out strongly against amnesty.


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I think maybe it was Patterico who said something to the effect that…

“Illegal aliens were so grateful to Reagan, they have voted for Republicans ever since.”

I know of no immigration amnesty…anywhere in the world…at any time in history…that has worked as promised.

Part of the reason why Americans have no trust in the gov is that there is little reason left to trust them. They say one thing to get elected and they switch to join their party. They lie, spin, manipulate, blame and justify their positions while selling the country out. We can’t get them to be accountable for their actions. If they want to fix what is wrong in the system they don’t have to have massive bills which no one will read, all stuffed with things which will make things worse. We have no representation at all. Those elected feel the need to tell us how it is going to be. Yeah, that inspires trust!

    Rick in reply to showtime8. | June 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Rubio epitomizes the disgusting politician. I don’t think it is my problem that I used to like him and now cannot stand him.

    Ragspierre in reply to showtime8. | June 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    “We have no representation at all.”

    Now, let’s keep this real.

    Texas’ delegation did its job. So did others.

As has been said by others — Tar, feathers.

    MAJack in reply to OldNuc. | July 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Yes, but where can find that many feathers? We need tractor trailer sized supplies for this lot we have in Congress!

“The problem is the American people have no trust in the federal government”

confirmed! accurate!! justified!!!

Some of us thought Rubio was the real deal. Turns out he is a real dealer. McCain with better teeth. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a million times, shame on me. Why should we have the slightest trust in any of them? The con men flock to government like flies to horse manure. The only answer is less government. Voting them out isn’t enough; there are thousands more waiting in the wings. Whatever it takes to curb their self-granted power. It’s the only solution. Whatever it takes.


Sell-out. Between him, JM, Lindsey, the repubs are doomed.

Time to clean house.

Rubicon: “…you will send a message that all you have to do is come into America illegally, stay here long enough, and we will let you stay.”

Line crossed, message delivered!

Doug Wright | June 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Ah yes, Rubio, just another stealth candidate, hiding behind his false image as a conservative while being, in fact, word, and deed, a “One Worlder,” of a piece with the ruler of his native island.

The only benefit that I can see, now, from Rubio’s current stance, is that most of us will distrust everything he has to say during his attempt at the 2016 GOP nomination. Maybe the “Che” T-Shirts will be changed to include Rubio’s image too.

If you’re in Florida, please sign the Rubio recall petition:

In the comments give your support for Allen West or Bob Smith.

Uncle Samuel | June 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Rubio is considering running for POTUS – but if the comments at the FL Shark Tank blog are any indication, he has killed his chances.

“I was moved, almost to the point of tears, by Senator Schumer’s concern for the future prospects of the Republican party, but we’re going to not take his advice,” Gowdy said. “Our framers gave us two legislative bodies, and I assume that they did it for a reason.”

The Senate bill is not going to pass the House for “myriad reasons,” Gowdy said. The House will continue to “work [its] will” by passing separate pieces of legislation (four in the last few weeks).

“We’re making progress, and we will continue to do so,” he said. “I’m more interested in getting it right than [in] doing it on Senator Schumer’s schedule.”

I like this guy.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to Ragspierre. | July 1, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I listed to Rep. Gowdy’s comment on Breitbart. Not he, nor anyone else except ICE union president Chris Crane, has proposed any method to guarantee Obama will enforce a law adopted he dislikes. He clearly dislikes immigration law and clearly intends to continue ignoring it.

    Rep. Gowdy is talking about more laws -which he can’t get enforced – and our “broken” immigration system. I don’t see how anyone can say it’s broken when it’s never enforced. I don’t think it is broken at all. We have a lot of businesses – such as Zuckerberg’s – that want to hire aliens because they make easier employees. Less likely to sue, lower salaries, etc.

    As long as we give Americans 99 weeks of unemployment, Medicaid, EBT cards, Section 8 housing, workers’ compensation, and all the other benefits – and rights to sue – that take the edges off of life, we’re going to have Americans that employers wish they didn’t have to hire.

    We are CONSTANTLY degrading American character with our socialist adventures. Folks get huffy when we hear someone say it, and while I don’t agree with employers who want to escape what their campaign contributions have wrought, I certainly understand it. They should be stuck with what their politics have created, and have no choice but to work to change it.

    Rep. Gowdy needs to wake up. Until the House withholds funds from the executive branch to do anything it wants to do, until it does all the things it is legally “required” to do, no immigration law enacted that restricts it, will be enforced. Clinton didn’t, Bush didn’t, and Obama certainly didn’t.

    Bush in particular let this flourish without any excuse whatsoever. After September 11th, our southern and northern borders should have been sealed much tighter than drums. Further, it is outrageous – absolutely outrageous – that in effect, illegal aliens are freer than Americans in a hundred ways – one of which includes travel. We’re felt up (okay, not me, I refuse to fly now), have to fill out a million forms to do anything, and the aliens just waltz through borders, states, and business, without a care in the world.

    Becoming an illegal alien is highly advantageous. And for anyone who believes the fantasy they do not currently receive welfare benefits, that is willful ignorance. Once they have an “American” child, they qualify for all of that. Not to mention, we pay for each of their “American” children to be born, to attend school, to receive food stamps, ad nauseum.

    Finally, it was a further disgrace that Bush continually mouthed the bald lie that islam is a “religion of peace.” The thought that we would have to kowtow to these barbarians and permit them any entry to our country, when we cannot so much as step foot in theirs with a bible, illustrates how completely spineless we’ve become. America is not a suicide pact, nor is it a self-abasement pact. We are entitled to assert our love of our own culture and to reject entry to any person or religion that requires us or hopes for us to bow down to it. islam is such a thing. If our Supreme Court had a love for this country, they would search our documents until they constructed such a right. Instead, they search and construct rights for homosexual marriage where children are deprived of their natural right to their mother and father.

    The fallout from Slavery in America – one place that refused to abide it – has caused this ugly, diseased “anti-discrimination” pact that we are forced to obey, this vicious thought control, where no one can speak up for his own country or his own kind, without being damned. No one can exercise his own desires for freedom of association, all because some con men discovered they could transform “anti-discrimination” into a bludgeon and magic wand against their fellow Americans, using it to upend communities and schools, to obtain favoritism in contracts and jobs, to force people to transport you, to feed you, to travel with you, whether they so wished or not. It’s roots have been permitted to seep into every aspect of our life, and we all permit ourselves to be intimidated by the merest possibility it will be invoked.

    It was only the conscience of men of European descent that followed the rational path of their basic principles that permitted this recognition of rights and it’s steadily increasing implementation. To see us, their descendants, being constantly hounded as though none of this came about from the auspices of our principled society, sickens me. The ingratitude appalls me.

    And what appalls me the most, is that we lie down and take it. We have much to be proud of, and we should quit cowering before anyone.

    Obama is angry at western civilization. I’m sorry his Dad was a drunk and a loser, but that’s how life rolls sometimes. It isn’t the fault of western civilization, and I accept no blame. He should enforce the law, present his birth certificate, or get the hell out of office.

    I have some choice words for Geo. Bush also, but the hour is late.

America Victory Party has a nice ring to it. The problem is that no matter what political parties say they will do, there are always hidden agendas and unscrupulous players regardless of ideology. Absent an empowered rank and file base or an Establishment with serious philosophical underpinnings, an opportunistic backstabber like Rubio could flourish in any point on the political spectrum.

I left the GOP way back when (1983) they promised border enforcement later for amnesty now.

Rubio, you had a good run, but I’ve seen your true character. You’ll sell us out for a table closer to the cool kids at Martha’s Vineyard. Never ever going to vote for you.

What a glib little pismire. He’ll be a footnote in time.

Rubio is irrelevant, other than as a vote in the Senate. He’s Lisa Murkowski, only better looking in a dress.

Hopefully, we can rid of him next election cycle.

This is a truly sad fallout from the loss in November. I don’t think it was necessary or wise for potential 2016 candidates to rush into immigration reform. Rubio would have been better served to follow Newt’s lead on this issue if he felt compelled to go down this road.

There were many lessons to absorb from the election but chief among them is one I readily concede Newt nailed in the primaries. It matters how we talk about this issue. There are ways to talk rationally about immigration without sending the message we want to deport people’s grandmas. Changing the tone of discussion would likely have made as much of an opening with hispanic voters as rushed immigration reform. This just all seemed so unnecessary.

huskers-for-palin | June 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I don’t know so much of a 3rd party but this I do know, a lot of pissed off people will just stay home.

Rubio = Dead man walking (from a political viewpoint).

It corrodes the nation’s moral fiber when the government tells millions of people who are citizens of other countries that we’ll essentially disregard the fact that they broke our laws the instant they entered out country, and we’ll change our laws to meet their demands, and we’ll waive penalties for various crimes that would bring punishment on citizens and legal residents (e.g. identity theft), and we may also give them preferential hiring over citizens.

In the process, the government is essentially mocking the many people who go through the trouble and expense of trying to enter the country legally.

And we all know that certain political elements will be no more disposed to enforce any new immigration-control laws than they’ve been to enforce those we already have.

Bruno Lesky | July 1, 2013 at 12:15 am

Heard McCain recently, so proud of the huge coalition backing the bill — (big) business, Catholic church, labor, farm workers + growers, (some) evangelicals, labor unions, Mi Familia / La Raza, progressives (e.g. Organizing for Action, etc..

But NO representation for the schlub (e.g. me) who doesn’t want to force others to give him some advantage and make others pay for it.

Not too many congressmen have a clue as to the miracle of the voluntary transaction. Not too many congressmen want to represent a modest taxpayer who wants to live a good life and be left alone by gov’t.

My point? My one schlub vote ain’t working. I need a better strategy.

My guess is that they turned both Rubio and John Roberts on the S.C.. The only question I have is did they bribe them or threaten them. Either way, if this country holds together long enough, I will support any effort to recall, impeach or primary all turncoats.

    Fen in reply to arnonerik. | July 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I’m actually considering working actively for the Democrats that run against them. If we’re going to lose anyway, make sure the traitors become victims not rulers.

[…] Marco Rubio 2009: “You cannot grant amnesty” […]

[…] Related:  Marco Rubio 2009: “You cannot grant amnesty”  […]

CausticConservative | July 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

I think the anger directed at Rubio is misplaced. The main problem with any proposed changes to a broken immigration system like ours is always going to be what happens to those that have previously come here. Conservatives seem to be staking out the shaky ground that anything is amnesty provided illegals who seek out a legal status are not deported. This is an impossible position that continues the status quo–why would anyone who may have been hiding in American society for years step forward to be identified now if deportation was the only result? If that’s what you are holding out for, it’s understandable that there should be no changes to current policy, because the policy would continue.

If the bill that results does as Rubio says, which strengthens the border, accounts for illegals and removes those with a criminal record, while providing an opportunity for those who want to work here with the ability to do so under agreed upon conditions, the law would be a major improvement over what we have now, and should not be discounted.

You have to start somewhere if you are serious about dealing with a problem. The question becomes, “What is doable?” Rubio gets that GOP blanket opposition to working on the issue will mean another Dem controlled bill. GOP doubters fail to get beyond the fact that Dems are working on the issue at all so whatever the outcome is will have to be bad for them politically.

I think legislating with a narrow cabal of 8 senators driving a 1000 page bill through that body is atrocious, but the House hasn’t had their turn yet, and the Speaker has publicly vowed that their version will be one that a GOP majority supports. That sounds to me like the sausage making working properly. I am willing to let the process play out and make my judgment at that time.

I know the status quo is getting us nowhere, and I am alarmed that many conservatives don’t want to do anything about it.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to CausticConservative. | July 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Conservatives I know and the commenters I read here don’t want deportation. Just no citizenship (= no vote, no welfare). I would add no anchor babies, no chain of relatives. Documented work visas OK. Deport criminals + enemy agents.

    On another issue. You write: “If the bill that results does as Rubio says.” Of course it won’t. One of many possible examples: the verification of border security is done by HHS Sec’y who is charged with implementation. What kind of a cocked up system is that … the proven malfeasant grades her own work?

    I don’t think it’s true that many conservatives don’t want to do anything about it. Most conservatives want the federal government to start enforcing the laws we have now, and they want an end to chain migration and anchor babies, as Bruno says.

    But doing nothing is better than passing a bill that invites another flood of border-jumpers, as the last amnesty did. And I’m dubious that the bill “does as Rubio says,” partly because he told a Spanish-speaking audience that amnesty will come first, border security later, and because people who have read the whole Senate bill say that strengthened enforcement comes very much later (i.e. probably not at all). Others have said that it actually weakens border control.

    An immigration bill that Schumer loves and Obama wants the House to pass ASAP cannot possibly be good for conservatives or for the country.

      CausticConservative in reply to Radegunda. | July 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      The Senate bill is not going to be THE bill. If it were, it would never become law anyway, as there aren’t enough votes in the HoR to pass it. The Senate has staked out ground as far to the left as they possibly could, and now the House gets to bring them back in a conservative direction. I believe Rubio’s involvement has meant that the starting point for the HoR will not be as far to the left to negotiate away from as it would have been otherwise. This is important, if final bill passage is a goal.

      If this is just theater, then nevermind.

    The fact is that this bill doesn’t strengthen border security or impose any requirements on illegals. Everyone of the promised increases in border security are subject to the approval of Sec Janet Nappy. If she says they aren’t needed then they don’t happen.

    Furthermore, it weakens our laws against future invaders as if they enter the USA or remain illegally they can’t currently obtain a green card. This bill lifts that restriction.

    The bill grants immediate amnesty with only promises of border enforcement sometime in the future. It is a fraud and only idiots or Democrats would agree to it. If it is passed then there will be 30 million new Democratic voters and bring about the establishment of a one party state.

      CausticConservative in reply to ConradCA. | July 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      That’s sort of the idea, isn’t it? To get the illegals to come “out of the shadows” for some kind of legal status where they are identified and held accountable?

      Congress can still add hard triggers, as I am sure the House bill will. But rather than seize the opportunity, a lot of conservatives are just going to say they’ve been sold out by RINOs. That’s what they’ve been saying about Rubio.

      I don’t know why so many outspoken conservatives don’t want to clean up this mess.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to CausticConservative. | July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    “I think the anger directed at Rubio is misplaced.”

    Not if one expects basic honesty and decency in public servants. Rubio said one thing to get elected and did the exact opposite once elected. The issue involved is irrelevant and unnecessary as a cause for anger, but it happened to be one of the biggest issues we face. If a politician’s lying on purpose isn’t enough to get angry about, this country is toast.

What utter contemp Maro RINO has for the people. He thinks he can say anything and that we have to believe him or we are racists.

[…] (h/t Legal Insurrection, where you’ll find a transcript) […]

[…] Marco Rubio 2009: “You cannot grant amnesty” […]

I still cannot reconcile how ANY American public servant, of any party, can place the needs and goals of non-citizens ahead of American citizens. It is pathological. With friends like these, we need no enemies. Clean house, limit terms, start putting these phony turncoats in stockades in the public square. I’ll supply the tomatoes.

[…] Clinton 66-28 among Latinos.  Despite his support of amnesty now, Rubio in 2009 said that amnesty undermines the whole immigration system and was critical of the 1986 […]

[…] was a time when even Marco Rubio understood […]