POLITICS

Morning Examiner: What’s the difference between Obama and Rubio on immigration exactly?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Somebody leaked select portions of President Obama’s draft immigration reform bill to USA Today this weekend, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was quick to issue a statement denouncing what little details were revealed:

President Obama’s leaked immigration proposal is disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution. The President’s bill repeats the failures of past legislation. It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally, and does nothing to address guest workers or future flow, which serious immigration experts agree is critical to preventing future influxes of illegal immigrants

That is some tough talk. But when you compare what USA Today reported with the bipartisan principles Rubio signed onto earlier this year, there is not much difference between the two plans. Both plans “repeats the failures” of an amnesty-for-enforcement framework. Both plans create “a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally.” USA Today had no details on how Obama’s bill would “address guest workers or future flow,” but the principles Rubio signed were exceedingly vague on that subject too.

The only real difference between Obama and Rubio appears to be whether or not a border security “trigger” should be met before those here illegally now could become citizens. But even this is not that big a deal. White House spokesman Josh Earnest has already admitted that while Obama does not prefer a trigger, he will sign a bill that contains one.

And Obama’s willingness to include a trigger is not surprising, considering how utterly worthless any such measure would be. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., conceded as much last week when he told Univision that the satisfaction of any trigger requirement would ultimately be up to whoever was Department of Homeland Security Secretary at the time. And how secure does Secretary Janet Napolitano think our border is now? “Our borders have, in fact, never been stronger,” she testified to Congress last week.

Either Rubio is trying to lay the groundwork for pulling out of the Gang of Ocho immigration group, or amnesty is already a done deal.

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