“I don’t think there’s a lot of concern in this country that we’ll somehow get overrun by Ph.D.s and entrepreneurs,” Sen. Marco Rubio says in his featured Wall Street Journal weekend interview. The interview focuses on Rubio’s common sense, politically courageous immigration reform plan.
“Legal immigration [is] one of the things that makes us vibrant and exceptional,” Rubio states. He supports reforms that modernize our immigration laws by prioritizing those who come here “based on labor and skill.” He would raise the cap on people who offer skills and investment, noting, according to interviewer Matthew Kaminski, that the US doesn’t produce enough science, math, and engineering graduates to fill open posts in high tech.
He would link seasonal and permanent visas to our actual needs in terms of agricultural labor, observing that today’s cumbersome, unrealistic process of coming legally only encourages people to work illegally.
As for those who are already in the country in undocumented status, Rubio says:
“Here’s how I envision it. They would have to come forward. They would have to undergo a background check.” Anyone who committed a serious crime would be deported. “They would be fingerprinted,” he continues. “They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove they’ve been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country.”
They could apply for permanent residency and, possibly, for citizenship after an unspecified number of years.