You’ve heard the false choice thousands of times from pro-amnesty Republicans: We must either give the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country today citizenship, or we must round them up for mass deportations.
This is, of course, ridiculous. There are plenty of other ways to deal with the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. Granting them permanent resident status is just one non-deportation-or-citizenship option.
But as bad as rounding up 11 million people sounds, the Schumer-Rubio bill actually envisions a similar mass deportation but on a slightly smaller scale.
Last month, Rubio’s office put out a press release stating: “FACT: If the proposed immigration bill does pass, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who do not qualify for temporary legal status will be subject to deportation. The legislation also provides for enhanced punishment as well as increased funding for deportation of future illegal immigrants. … Even for illegal immigrants who attain temporary status, that temporary status can be revoked if they commit a serious crime or if they fail to comply with the employment requirement, the public charge requirement (which goes hand-in-hand with the employment requirement), their tax obligations and their physical presence obligations. They will then be subject to deportation.” (Emphasis added.)
The “public charge” requirement stipulates no immigrant can obtain a green card unless they can verify that they are earning at least 25 percent above the poverty level. But as today’s Heritage Foundation study points out, more than one-third of unlawful immigrant households have incomes below the federal poverty level. That is about 4 million people.
Does Rubio really expect conservatives to believe that the Obama (or Clinton) administration will round up 4 million immigrants and deport them just because they are poor?