Thursday, January 17, 2013

What everyone is saying about Rubio's immigration plan

Over the weekend, Marco Rubio unveiled some key components of his immigration reform plan, which included offering some illegal immigrants legal status and a possible, pathway to citizenship -- bold steps for a conservative lawmaker.

So far, reaction has been nearly uniformly positive, although you get the sense that some are holding their fire and waiting for the full thing to either blister or praise the plan.

The left, though, is much more eager to offer its opinion (positive), although it's nearly always coupled with a reminder that Barack Obama proposed some of this first.

So --- here you go: a cheat sheet of reaction from prominent leaders to Rubio's plan.

My favorite -- Frank Sharry of America's Voice -- who exalts "It's huge. Rubio's throwing down."

Adam Serwer, Mother Jones:

"Conservatives hailing Rubio may not realize how close to President Barack Obama he has moved on immigration."

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, on Facebook:

"I support the principles he's outlined.... our future depends on an immigration system that works."

 Rachel Maddow, on her blog:

"If Rubio wants to take the president's plan, put a new name at the top, and convince the right it's a Republican-friendly version, so be it."

Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, in the Tampa Bay Times:

"It's huge. Rubio's throwing down. I've long thought that we couldn't get this done unless he stepped out in a leadership role."

Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, to Marco Rubio:

"I like your program. I think it’s fair. So, I want you and President Obama to get on the phone and get this thing so it doesn’t turn into a bloody mess."

Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns at the National Council of La Raza, to The National Journal.

“He has the potential to be a force for building the space in which Republicans are meaningfully considering resolutions to this problem.... the expectations are high for his leadership on this."

Lorella Praeli, head of United We Dream, to the New York Times:

“To me the most surprising thing was that he was talking about a pathway to citizenship.... There has been such a shift in the tone, in his vision.”

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Ed Morrissey, conservative writer at Hot Air.

"I think Rubio is on the right path, and the sooner that this issue gets off the table, the better off the Republican Party will be.

Given the results of the 2012 elections, we aren’t going to see anything better than this in principle that could resolve the differences between Republicans and Democrats, and its success or failure will tell us — and Hispanic voters — whether Democrats are serious about resolving the issue or just using it for demagoguery.

Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at a presser:

"We are encouraged — referring now to recent reports ‚ that Senator Rubio's thinking — as reported — so closely reflects the president's blueprint for reform."


Mark Krikorian, the Center for Immigration studies, wrote on National Review.

But the specific policies Ned Ryerson Rubio is selling are just the same old, same old: “earned” amnesty for illegal aliens plus de facto unlimited immigration, in exchange for promises to some day implement E-Verify and build more fencing.

Even worse, what makes me want to throw a toaster into the bath tub is the utter lack of awareness that nothing Rubio’s saying is even remotely novel.

Conservative writer James Antle III, in The American Conservative.

Missing from Rubio’s message is any sense of why conservatives have been skeptical of such legislation in the recent past: the failure of the 1986 amnesty program. The Reagan administration’s legalization effort was rife with fraud.

The promised enforcement measures never fully materialized even after the amnesty took place. Illegal immigration didn’t decline and Hispanics didn’t reward Republicans for their pro-amnesty votes at the polls.


Daniel Larison, on what it might mean for a 2016 primary.

None of Rubio’s likely opponents has denounced him over this so far, but then none of them needs to do that yet. We probably won’t see this kind of direct attack on Rubio until the primary candidates begin debating one another.

Immigration isn’t likely to be the issue that derails Rubio, but I wouldn’t assume that a lack of criticism directed at Rubio implies that Republican opposition to amnesty has decreased significantly.

Laura Ingraham, on her radio show.

"That's not going to fly with the White House, Marco. That's not going to fly. They're going to just run right over you. They're going to say 'pathway and it's got to be fast'."