For immigration reform foes, Rubio raises specter of Obama legalizing 11 million by executive orderby George Bennett | August 13th, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio‘s support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill has hurt him with much of the Republican Party’s conservative base. But Rubio warned on a conservative talk radio show this morning that defeating bipartisan reform could lead President Barack Obama to sign an executive order legalizing the estimated 11 million immigrants who are now in the country illegally.
“I believe that this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to issue an executive order like he did for the Dream Act kids a year ago where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen,” Rubio told Tallahassee radio station WFLA host Preston Scott during an interview this morning.
Failing to pass an immigration bill will leave in place the current policy of “de facto amnesty” for illegals without measures to boost border security or require employers to verify the citizenship of their workers, Rubio said.
“I think a year from now we could find ourselves with all 11 million people here legally under an executive order from the president but no e-Verify, no more border security, no more border agents, none of the other reforms that we desperately need,” Rubio said.
Rubio, whose stock as a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate has dipped since he embraced reform, said “I didn’t get involved in it for politics. I don’t think it’s helped me with anybody politically on either side of the debate.”