Immigration reform isn’t likely to happen before President Barack Obama leaves office, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says, because of the lack of trust Republicans have in the nation’s leader.
“It’s going to be very difficult now to do anything comprehensive in Washington,” Rubio told Bloomberg’s Peter Cook. “People don’t like to hear this, but it’s true given the lack of trust in this president that particularly Republicans have.”
Rubio said that he, like Obama, does still believe comprehensive immigration reform is important for the nation’s economy, and reform measures should focus on attracting global talent while improving on how immigration laws are enforced.
And that’s where the issue with trust in Obama comes in, Rubio said.
“The argument that we continue to hear is, you’re going to go ahead and do the legalization, but that’s going to be linked to enforcement,” Rubio said. “But then the president is going to pick and choose which parts of the enforcement he moves forward on and which ones he doesn’t, and we’re going to end up with all of the legalization and only half or none of the enforcement.”
Rubio told Cook that he believes the nation is in global competition not just for investment, but for talent.
“Think about it this way,” he said. “If the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft next year is from another country, there is no way in the world that person’s going to have an immigration problem. We’ve never deported a 7-foot-2 center. We’ve never deported the best point guard in America. We’ve never done that. If we wouldn’t do that in sports, why would we do that to our economy?”