Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Arizona Republican Senator John McCain came out against former Florida Governor and fellow Republican Jeb Bush’s statements advocating for a path to legalization – but not citizenship – for the nation’s undocumented, as part of a comprehensive immigration reform package.
“After weighing both sides of it I just concluded – that every country that’s done this, that’s had millions of people living in it that are permanently barred from applying for citizenship, it hasn’t worked out really well for them,” said Senator Rubio to reporters in Washington today. “I have my principles.” Rubio was responding to statements made by the former Florida Governor about some of the main points in his new book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.
Speaking to NBC Latino today, Governor Bush said there has to be a distinction between those who came in to this country illegally and those who came in legally. Bush and co-author Clint Bolick call for legalizing the undocumented without a pathway to citizenship. Bush, a staunch proponent of immigration reform who criticized Republican “self-deportation” rhetoric as “toxic,” said legalization without citizenship would also help bring conservatives who oppose a pathway to citizenship into immigration negotiations.
Arizona Republican Senator John McCain also came against Governor Bush’s statements, saying to reporters, “We are proceeding on the principle that once we have effective control of the border that would establish the path to citizenship.” When asked if he would support a bill for legalization without citizenship, Senator McCain said, “It’s not that I couldn’t. It just would go nowhere.”