Most of the negative feedback I see about Senator Marco Rubio is regarding his stand on illegal immigration. Many voters think he is too soft on the issue; they want someone tough, like Donald Trump. I am not speaking here about the Syrian refugees; I consider that a separate issue. I am speaking about the 11 million immigrants already in our country, half of whom are from Mexico. I grew up less than 2 hours from the Mexican border, so I am familiar with the concept, and I agree that it is one of our most pressing issues. Our top priority is to secure the border. Unless and until we achieve that, the rest is an exercise in futility.
I wonder how many voters have actually read Marco Rubio’s plan for immigration reform. I personally think he has a viable plan. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot more realistic than Trump’s rhetoric about deporting all 11 million illegals currently in the United States. Does anyone really think that is likely to happen? It would be a logistical nightmare. You can’t just load them up and bus them to the border. Some of these people are elderly, some are children, and some have lived here for many years and are actually law abiding, job holding individuals. Illegal immigrants make up five percent of our labor force. Seven percent of our students K-12, have at least one parent who is an unauthorized immigrant. We are talking about splitting up families here. Trump talks big, and he makes it sound easy, but it may prove a little harder than he thinks. Candidates can promise all kinds of things to win elections, but if they cannot actually deliver on them, then it’s just academic.
Let’s not forget that our ancestors were immigrants. Personally, if I had not had the blessing of being born in the United States, and I had to raise my children in abject poverty, amid violence and drug cartels, I am sure I would do whatever I had to so they would have a better life. As Christians, we need to have some compassion. Does this mean they get a free ride? No. Does this mean automatic amnesty? No. They are still here illegally, and they must go through a process to become a legalized citizen. If they have a criminal background, they should be automatically deported.
I also agree with Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”
Before you right off Marco Rubio, read his immigration plan. Don’t just believe what all the pundits say, and keep in mind that we are talking about real people here, many of whom are hard working, decent individuals who just want a better life for their families.