Michael Brown Show, Marco Rubio, April 18, 2013

Station:      KHOW, 630 AM

Show:        Michael Brown Show

Guests:      Rubio

Link:          http://www.khow.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=2&podcast=michaelbrown&selected_podcast=MB_4-18_Hour_3_FAIR_Broadcast_with_Rubio_1366329830_1867.mp3

Date:         April 18, 2013

Topics:      Comprehensive Immigration Reform,  Gang of Eight, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Schumer, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Security, Pathway to Citizenship,  Congressional Hearings,  Judiciary Committee, Joint Economic Committee, Amendments, Majority Leader Senator Harry Ried (D-NV), E-verify, Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, Family Unification, Merit Based, Green Card, HB1 Visas, Skills Based Legislation

Click Here for Audio  


HOST MICHAEL BROWN:  So you had a press conference today.


BROWN:  I have a question. 

RUBIO:  Yes, sir.

BROWN:  We have Obamacare and now this, the immigration bill.  We seem to have this habit in Congress of dropping bills, people don’t know what’s in it, they haven’t read them, —

RUBIO:  Right

BROWN:  Are we going to have hearings? 

RUBIO:  Absolutely.  First of all, the difference between Obamacare and this bill and many other bills, for example, is that they’re cut in secret by a group of people, and then they’re brought right to the floor, and then you’re given a few hours to consider it, maybe a few days, maybe, if you’re lucky, a couple weeks.  This bill is going to go through a long process.  I mean, we just introduced it.  There’s going to be hearings on it tomorrow, there are going to be hearing next week.  An additional committee – the Joint Economic Committee is going to have hearings on it, as well, in May.   In fact, the Judiciary committee won’t even start considering amendments to the bill – the committee, until next month.  And then beyond that, obviously, it’s got to get through the whole amendment process in the committee.  When it emerges from there, it’s going to the floor and go through that amendatory process.  In the meantime, weeks and weeks will go by.  It’s already posted online, on my — and I encourage people to go on our website, marcorubio.com, and read it. And I look for their input.  I don’t —  I’m sure there’s things that we can improve in it, and I look forward to hearing how to do that.

BROWN:  So I just want to make sure.  And I don’t doubt you, but I just want to make sure I understand that this bill will go through a normal legislative process, will have hearings, will have witnesses, will have full-blown public discussion of this bill. 

RUBIO:  That’s what I’ve been assured.  Obviously, one of the principles that I outlined when I came out – I outlined my own principles on this issue back in January.  And one of those principles is that this issue be considered through the regular legislative process, not rushed to the floor for a quick vote on something people don’t understand.  And that’s one of the things that they’ve agreed to do, and I hope they keep their word on it.  Beyond that, I would remind people, the House will also have something to say —

BROWN:  Right.

RUBIO:  This is not – I mean, we won’t—I don’t even anticipate this issue being on the floor of the Senate for weeks, for multiple weeks. 

BROWN:  Has Senator Ried given you his word that he’ll go through the full process. 

RUBIO:  He has.  That is what he has told me, up to this point.  And that is what we would expect.  I think it will fail if it’s not done that way.  And quite frankly, I will not be able to support a product that I feel my colleagues have not had the opportunity to have significant input on.  Even if they end up not supporting it, I think, all 92 other Senators have an interest in this issue and deserve to have an input.  And quite frankly, I think they can make it better. 

BROWN:  Do you trust Harry Ried to do that?

RUBIO:   Listen, it – ultimately, I don’t know Harry Ried that well.  I’ve only been in the Senate for two years.  All I can tell you is that I don’t think this bill will succeed if it’s not part of a deliberative process.  I think if this is an issue that you try and rush to the floor, it will fail.  And quite frankly, it will be impossible for me to support an effort that I don’t think my colleagues have had a fair opportunity to have input on.  I’ve been consistent on that that principle and continue to be, and that’s why I’m encouraging other committees, not just Judiciary, to hold hearings.  And we’ve already gotten another committee to agree to a hearing, that Joint Economic Committee which includes members of the House will have hearings in May, as well. 

BROWN:  One of the problems that we – that I perceive, that we’ve had in the Department of Homeland Security.  I was on the transition team that created the behemoth, and I regret having done that.  But, one of the problems that we’ve had within DHS, is the way it now works, is there any guarantee that you can give that Immigration and Custom Enforcement will actually be consulted, and actually be a part of the process, and they will be allowed to honestly testify about what they think needs to be done?

RUBIO:  That’s what I hope we can ensure that this testimony happens

  • [We should be strongly unified in getting that]
  • [We should be meeting with these folks and getting input in how to improve the process]
  • [Legitimate Point:  Enforcement hands tied – this admin is making it difficult for them]

BROWN:  Okay, so if —you just raised an excellent point.  If they say that they have their hands tied, so to speak, in enforcement, why are we not focusing on enforcement right not and decouple the amnesty or the provisional, or whatever you want to call it, — Why don’t we decouple those and deal with the border security first


  • [Couple reasons, by identifying and freezing status, we actually help enforcement efforts and limited resources because they will be able to concentrate on criminals, gangbangers, etc.]
  • [Bill mandates E-verify, universal entry and exit movement – creates a program whereby if DHS doesn’t’ achieve 90% apprehension rate, 100% awareness…. Control the issue… then control goes to border state governors to finish the job…. ]

BROWN:  Sorry to interrupt, but what I read is, it’s 90% in high risk or high enforcement problem area –


  • [6 of 9 border sectors have majority of problems]
  • [High risk sectors could change…. The whole border needs to be]
  • [Napolitano won’t be there in 3.5 years]

BROWN:  If part of the belief is she won’t be here in 3.5 years, there’s no question that the Democrats use immigration  as a political issue – they use it as a wedge issue, to drive a wedge between Republicans and Democrat.  How does this not drive a wedge between  voters and Republicans.


  • In terms of the —

BROWN:  Just the whole issue!  I mean, are we not playing right into the hands of Democrats?’  It’s all about electoral politics. 

RUBIO:  It’s not for me.  

BROWN:  Well, you just said, “Janet Napolitano will be gone in three-and-a-half years.”


  • [No, no]
  • [My point being — is people keep saying, “she won’t enforce the law.  How can we trust her?”]
  • [And my point is – well, she’s only – even in the best case scenario for her, she’ll only be there for three more years – obama won’t be president forever]
  • [On the political point, I would just say, if we’re motivated by politics, if Republicans are doing this because they think they’re going to win more Hispanic votes, that’s not the reason to do it]
  • [The reason, quite frankly, why I want to do this, is I think what we have right now is bad for the country ]
  • [And I want to see us fix it.] 
  • [And otherwise, if nothing happens The status quo was even worse]
  • [What we have now is we don’t know who these folks are, the law is not being enforced, our legal immigration system is based on the 19th century, not the 21st]
  • [I’m trying to fix it in the best way possible]
  • [The Democrats are going to raise this issue, and we need to have input.  We must have an alternative that is better than they’re offering]

BROWN:  Can you just tell the folks in Colorado, what border security means to you.


  • [Means we control it.  We have sovereignty of the border]
  • [Look, are you going to stop 100-% of the people every single day, every year]
  • [People used to get past the Berlin wall]
  • [It’s the national security component of it… I don’t support landscaper or maid coming across the border illegally]
  • [But what should keep us up at night is that a border where people can be trafficked, weapons and drugs, ]

BROWN:  Sorry to interrupt.  But so if I agree 100% —  It’s first and foremost a national security issue.  So if that’s the case, why are we giving DHS, who has fumbled around now since 2003. I was there the day it stood up,  It has done nothing to improve border security!  So if it’s a freaking national security issue, why aren’t we holding their feet to the fire, and say seal it up!  Why aren’t they doing it?


  • [They are!  We should!  They hold hearings on it.  How do you do that ultimately, unless you can pass a law.]
  • [Need to pass a law that requires them to do it, or they lose control.]

BROWN:  So, why aren’t we doing that first, and focusing on the other people who are here secondarily?


  • [That was my original position.  Let’s put security first and then let’s legalize the folks that are here.]
  •  [The problem is, What do we do with them in the meantime?  In the meantime, while we’re waiting to finish the security part, you’ve got millions of people running around working on documents that aren’t theirs, not paying taxes, we don’t know who they are.]
  • [We have to freeze that problem in place, to make sure it doesn’t get any worse]

BROWN:  But it’s been that way since 1976.  The people here just swirling around


  • [If its 1 or 2 million, that’s okay]
  • [But it’s many more than that, and we don’t know how many!  That’s the fundamental problem here – we don’t know!]

BROWN:  You see, but that argues for securing it first. Before doing anything else.


  • [Right.  ]
  • [Well the point is what do we do with the people who are here.  Ignore?  Game of cat and mouse – if we catch them, they have to leave, but if we don’t catch them. They get to stay? ]

BROWN:  Part of this bill, at the way I read it, at least what was put out today, is that if they’ve been deported they can actually come back and apply again


  • [That’s not true]
  • [The only exception we made were those who were deported for non-criminal reasons and who have been separated from their children]
  • [Quite frankly, I wasn’t a huge fan of that provision, but decided, let’s be on the side of family reunification.]

BROWN:  Do you see this as being family based?  Or skills based legislation?


  • [We changed that]
  • [That’s one of the best approaches to this bill that I’m really in favor of
    • Modernize the system away from family-based ]

BROWN:  So for H1B visas?  Or, I mean, are we going to do it for high skill, or low skill? 


  • [Even the green card program becomes more based on skill and  merit than it is based on  family]
  • [We get rid of the diversity lottery]
  • [We get rid of the brother and sister category]
  • [They can claim their spouse and their children]
  • [Where we prioritize the merit based immigration where the people who have skills, job [offers and opportunities  to contribute economically]

BROWN:  Why was ICE kicked out of the hearing today? 


  • [I didn’t kick them out, I think that was a mistake]
  • [Chris Crane was kicked out… I think he shouldn’t have been.  I met with him Monday, I look forward to meeting with him again]
  • [he’s a law enforcement officer, he should have been respected, and not treated like someone who has done something that was wrong]

BROWN:  Thank you.  Thank you


  • [That was unfortunate]
  • [I hope we’ll hear from him]
  • [Because Chris’ complaint is a legitimate one]
  • [And that is they are not being allowed by this administration to enforce the law]
  • [In fact, they are actively involved in a lawsuit and I hope they’re successful at that,]
  • [And I hope that we can have significant input on how to improve the system]

BROWN:  Your staff thinks I work for them.   They’re trying to signal me to shut up. 

RUBIO:  Well, we’ve got another show

BROWN:  But I’m not going to shut up until you shut up, so…

RUBIO:  All right

BROWN:  Senator, good to see you

RUBIO:  Thank you, Mike, I appreciate it

BROWN:  You bet. Take care