Politico reported this week that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has a new book out, and that the issue of immigration reform — what the Senator is perhaps best known for on the national stage — only comes “during the final pages of the second chapter.”
Following an evolution he began right after the Senate immigration bill was passed, Rubio is now pushing for piecemeal rather than comprehensive immigration reform, saying:
We must begin by acknowledging, considering our recent experience with massive pieces of legislation, achieving comprehensive immigration reform of anything in a single bill is simply not realistic. Having tried that approach, I know this to be true firsthand.
This is a bit of a revisionist take on history, considering that the comprehensive immigration reform bill that Rubio helped write passed the the Senate just fine, and would’ve passed the House as well had Speaker Boehner decided to stop listening to Steve King and the anti-immigrant wing of his caucus. President Obama also said that he would be fine with piecemeal reform if the House could pass it — yet they, of course, did not even try.
At Daily Kos yesterday, Kerry Eleveld called out Rubio’s piecemeal stance for exactly what it is — an attempt to talk about the “easy” parts of immigration reform while ignoring the 11 million:
It’s the perfect ploy for politicians who want to pass elements of the bill that play to certain interest groups (like big business, which wants more H1-B visas, or tea-party types who want to “secure the border”) while leaving many of the undocumented behind.
Second, the whole point of working on a comprehensive solution is that it makes success easier, not harder. When it comes to complex issues like immigration, various contingents are looking for entirely different policy outcomes. For most Democrats, the goal is creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. For most Republicans, the endpoint is increased border security. For many in the private sector, the priority is expanded and improved visas.Putting the measures into a single package makes it easier to pass – everyone can get what they want at the same time. Pulling the policies apart, telling the various factions that their priorities would eventually be addressed, does the opposite.