Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has urged Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) not to rush any immigration reform legislation and include transparent hearings of any proposals put forth.
A member of the Group of Eight, Rubio told Leahy the bipartisan negotiators have made “considerable progress” toward “a tough but fair approach that will allow many people currently here illegally to earn the ability to apply for legalization and eventually, after certain triggers are met, removes prohibitions for them to apply for a green card.”
“I write to express my strong belief that the success of any major legislation depends on the acceptance and support of the American people,” Rubio wrote to the chairman. “That support can only be earned through full and careful consideration of legislative language and an open process of amendments.”
“While you and your colleagues on the Judiciary Committee will agree on the details, I respectfully suggest that such a process must begin with a careful examination in the Committee including: hearings that explore multiple perspectives on the scope of the problems we face and the efficacy of the solutions we propose, markups in which a broad range of amendments can be considered, and a robust floor debate. All of this, and any Conference Committee deliberations, should occur in the full view of the American people, broadcast on CSPAN, and streamed live on the internet.”
Rubio said past hearings held by the committee on immigration reform are valuable but no replacement for fresh hearings in light of new proposals.
“I cannot urge strongly enough that such a discussion start with meaningful hearings. Of particular importance is a full consideration of border security proposals, including testimony from border security experts, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and others. A key feature of our bipartisan approach has been an insistence on meeting border security and other enforcement triggers before unauthorized immigrants can apply for permanent residence. But the success of these triggers will require examining what the American taxpayer’s commitment must be in order to make this security plan a reality,” he continued.
“You have said that ‘delay for delay’s sake’ would be a mistake in this matter, I agree. But excessive haste in the pursuit of a lasting solution is perhaps even more dangerous to the goals many of us share.”
Rubio said in an Easter statement that no final agreement on immigration reform had been reached yet, calling reports to the contrary “premature.”
“Arriving at a final product will require it to be properly submitted for the American people’s consideration, through the other 92 senators from 43 states that weren’t part of this initial drafting process,” the senator said. “In order to succeed, this process cannot be rushed or done in secret.”