WASHINGTON, D.C. – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, once the “Champion of Immigration,” told Fox News on Sunday the best chance Congress has of reaching a deal on immigration reform may be through solving long-term flaws in the system separately from the current crisis on the border.
“Given everything that’s going on now, especially, the only way we’re ever going to make progress on this issue is to first deal with illegal immigration, secure the border, win people’s confidence that in reality this problem is under control,” Rubio said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
The Florida Republican is heavy into his exploration of becoming a 2016 presidential candidate. Rubio took some criticism from conservatives after a sweeping immigration reform proposal he co-authored passed the Senate last summer. And on Sunday, he resisted when pressed on whether he was now flipping in urging Congress to tackle the problem in stages rather than through comprehensive reform.
There’s still a need to secure the border and modernize the immigration system, he said, criticizing a possible executive order from President Barack Obama that could allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. as fueling the problem.
“We’re not debating what to do. We’re debating how to do it,” Rubio said. “We will never have the votes necessary to pass one bill with all those things. It just won’t happen. So, our choices are: We can continue to beat our heads against the wall and try a process for which we will never have the support, or we can try another way that we could perhaps make progress on.”
Quotes from his story were obtained from Fox News for the purpose of accuracy: