Photo: Fox News
Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Monday night to champion the bipartisan Senate immigration reform plan, as part of a round of appearances with influential conservative media figures on the topic.Hannity’s views on the subject of immigration reform have shifted since the election. Two weeks ago, Hannity called Rubio’s immigration proposal “most thoughtful bill that I have heard heretofore.”
On Monday, Hannity remained sceptical, but Rubio made a believer out of him again.
Hannity questioned whether the proposal was virtual blanket amnesty, a suggestion that Rubio dismissed. He said his bill was different than a failed 2007 bill that aimed at comprehensive reform.
“In essence, we are not creating an incentive and we are not rewarding it. Because, quite frankly, for many of these people, they would have been better off doing it the right way,” Rubio said.
“This is going to cost them penalties. This is going to cost them taxes. This is going to cost them a significant wait. And then, after they do all of that, the only thing they are going to have access to is the opportunity to apply for a green card. You still have to qualify for the visa you are applying for. So, they would have been better off doing it the right way from the beginning.”
Rubio added that a “dealbreaker” for him would come if more secure border measures were not enacted as a precursor to a path to citizenship.
By the end of the interview, Hannity again called the proposal the “most thoughtful” he had heard.
Rubio’s interview with Hannity is part of a conservative media tour he is undertaking to convince influential conservative voices of the validity of the plan. Rubio also is scheduled to speak with conservative radio hosts Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh today, the latter of whom came out vehemently against the plan Monday.
On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh characterised the new framework as similar to a failed 2007 bill that aimed at comprehensive reform. He dubbed it virtual amnesty.
“It’s up to me and Fox News, and I don’t think Fox News is that invested in this. I don’t think there’s any Republican opposition to this of any majority consequence or size. We’ll have to wait and see and find out. But this is one of those, just keep plugging away, plugging away, plugging away until you finally beat down the opposition,” Limbaugh said.
Watch the clip of Rubio on “Hannity” below, courtesy of Fox News:
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