Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on the Senate floor that if people have issues with his compromise immigration reform bill, just change it.
“If you believe that what we have today is broken, if you believe that the status quo on immigration is chaos and a disaster. If that’s what you believe, as I do, then let’s solve it. And the way you solve it is by working together. In essence, don’t just be against it, offer ideas to change it,” he said.
Some conservatives have taken issue with the main crux of the bill, though, calling it amnesty to legalize illegal immigrants already in the country.
“If you believe our laws are not being enforced and we need to pass laws that force the administration – this one and a future one – to enforce our laws, let’s change it. I’m all ears. I’m all open-minded about that and so are my colleagues. But let’s not leave it the way it is, because the way it is chaos. It’s bad for our country,” Rubio said.
The senator chided his colleagues that their job “is not just to come here and criticize.”
“Our job is not just to come to the floor and make speeches, or go back home and give speeches, or do television interviews. Our job’s not just to poke holes, our job is to plug holes too. Our job here is not just to criticize, but to make better,” he said.
Rubio said the legislation “is not an effort to force anything down anyone’s throat.”
“This bill that we’ve worked on is a starting point. It’s not a take it or leave it proposition. It never has been,” he added.
“Let’s come up with a solution that modernizes our legal immigration system so it’s good for our economy, that once and for all forces the administration – this one and future ones – to enforce our immigration laws, and that once and for all deals with the 11 million people that are here illegally in a way that’s fair and compassionate. But also fair to the people that did it right, and also a way that ensures that this never ever happens again,” Rubio said. “And I hope when we come back here in a few days we’ll begin to work on that together, for the good of our country and the future of our great nation.”