Marco Rubio Torches Failed Border Bill on CNN  

Christopher Halloran /
Christopher Halloran /

CNN host Jake Tapper regretted recently interviewing Marco Rubio (R-FL) during a State of the Union segment. After all, it’s not every day a guest makes a host look lost and a little stupid, but that’s exactly what Rubio did when Tapper decided to grill him about the Republican rejection of the newly proposed “bi-partisan” border bill. 

The media, especially CNN and Jake Tapper, would have Americans believe that Republicans blocked a potential game-changing immigration bill for the fun of it, but that’s not quite the whole story. Republicans blocked an immigration bill that continued to give Democrats precisely what they wanted – a quick path to citizenship, asylum granted without court authority, continued record numbers of daily border crossings, and money to send to Ukraine. 

The Border Patrol union characterized this deal with a shrug and commented that it was “better than nothing.” Tapper believed that “better than nothing” meant a Democratic victory and triumphantly tried to corner Rubio on the union’s response. “Yes, if that’s what they still believe, they’re wrong. It’s not better than nothing,” Rubio shot back. 

Rubio addressed the proposed bill’s approach to asylum, where US Citizenship and Immigration Services would decide asylum claims without involving the immigration court system. He explained that the bill would establish an asylum court and empower thousands of asylum agents stationed at the border to admit individuals into the country immediately and grant them a same-day work permit. Currently, there is a waiting period of six months for the work permits. 

Rubio noted that providing immediate asylum and work permits would draw even more illegal immigrants to the border with the promise of a five-year path to citizenship. He stated that this was the end goal for Democrats who want to turn illegal immigrants into voters, hoping for future support in elections.  

Tapper attempted to argue that the bill did not provide a pathway to citizenship, but Rubio was a step ahead of the CNN mouthpiece. He quickly pointed out that the current path to citizenship starts with an asylum claim, a green card in a year, and citizenship four years later. Proposing that the process can be done outside of court is not just a “path” to citizenship; it’s a fast track. 

Republicans were able to see the rest of the proposed legislation for the Democrat dream that it was, despite its alleged “bi-partisan” creation. 

According to the bill, the president would maintain the authority to grant humanitarian parole on a case-by-case basis, as demonstrated by recent actions benefiting Ukrainians, Afghans, Cubans, Venezuelans, and Haitians. Furthermore, 250,000 additional immigrant visas were authorized for families and employment-based immigrants, which will be spread out over five years. There’s also a provision for Afghans paroled into the US after the Afghanistan withdrawal, offering them a pathway to citizenship.  

But that’s the typical give and take necessary to pass any bill through Congress, and Republicans may have given the humanitarian parole overhaul to the Democrats in the end if not for the astonishing numbers of illegals that the bill permitted across the border daily. 

The most significant point of contention for House Republicans was “limiting” the daily average of illegal immigrant encounters to 4000…per day. If the daily average reaches 4,000 per day in a week, the Homeland Security secretary “could decide” to restrict migrants from seeking asylum if they crossed the border unlawfully. If migrant crossings surpass 5,000 on average per day within a week, DHS is “mandated” to implement this authority. Moreover, the department “must” trigger the authority if encounters soar to 8,500 in a single day. The federal government would be limited in how long it can use this authority: 270 days in the first year, 225 calendar days in the second year, and 180 days in the third year. 

In other words, this bill was not tough on illegal immigration. It was an open door policy to allow up to 4000 illegal immigrants across the border each day, with a mandatory border closing authorized only if the numbers rose to 5,000 per day for one week or 8500 illegal immigrant crossings in one day. The legislation further limited how many days the restrictions could be used per year and, even worse, drastically dropped the days restrictions could be used by year three. 

Conservatives quickly recognize the transparent effort to push through a Democratic wish list in this proposed legislation. However, without the media presenting a complete picture to Americans, it appears as though Republicans are obstructing the bill solely for political gain. Figures like Rubio and other Republicans in both the House and Senate can provide genuine border security to a nation in crisis, should they remain steadfast. After all, Biden’s commitments, particularly regarding favors owed to Ukraine, can’t be ignored forever.