A month ago, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was considered by many to be the GOP front runner for president in 2016. Now, even if he secures the nomination, Republicans may very likely support him only half-heartedly like they did moderate Republican Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, a sure recipe for losing the presidential election. On June 27th, the “Gang of Eight,” composed of Rubio and other senators supporting the relaxation of immigration laws, forced through an immigration reform bill so radical even Jeb Bush has criticized it. Fewer than one-third of Senate Republicans voted for it. S. 744 would award legal status and a path to citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants. The Gang of Eight is composed of four liberal Democrat Senators and four Republican Senators, including McCain and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), liberal Republicans known for siding with the Democrats on immigration.
Rubio isn’t just pushing for moderate immigration reform, such as that envisioned by Clint Bolick and Jeb Bush in their new book Immigration Wars. Their plan for dealing with illegal immigration does not include a path to citizenship, and cuts down on chain migration, which currently accounts for two-thirds of all legal immigration. Rubio’s bill goes much further, signing onto the most radical Democrat proposals.
S. 744 gives employers financial incentives to hire illegal immigrants who have been granted amnesty - over Americans. Employers with over 50 employees are required to offer health insurance, otherwise they’re subjected to fines of $3000 per employee. Newly legalized immigrants wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies on the Obamacare exchange for 13 years, so employers could avoid fines and offering healthcare if they hired them instead of Americans. Five senators were asked by the Weekly Standard if they were aware of this provision in the 1,200 page bill, and they said they had no idea.
Another troubling provision in the bill allows a safe harbor for criminal illegal immigrants. For two and a half years, law enforcement will be restricted from deportations while illegal immigrants are encouraged to come forward and apply for amnesty. The only exception to this is serious criminals; those with one felony conviction or three serious misdemeanor convictions.