The PJ Tatler

Marco Rubio Speaks with Forked Tongue on Immigration Reform

One senator, two messages, depending on who he’s talking to.

When he speaks to conservatives, Rubio is tough on border security.

Linking Temporary Status To Security Triggers: No undocumented immigrant is eligible to apply for temporary status until the border security and fencing plan is in place. After being in the temporary status for at least ten years, no currently undocumented immigrant can even attain permanent residence, much less citizenship, unless the border security, employment verification and exit system triggers have been achieved.

But when speaking to a Hispanic audience on Univision, Rubio sounds a completely different tone.

In his own appearance on the Spanish-language Univision network, Mr. Rubio tried to assuage some Hispanics who fear that their legal status will be held hostage to border security. Mr. Rubio said illegal immigrants will get quick legal status and work permits regardless of whether the borders are secure — but won’t be given a full pathway to citizenship until more enforcement is imposed.

“Nobody is talking here about preventing legalization. Legalization will take place,” Mr. Rubio told Univision in an interview scheduled to air Sunday.

“First comes legalization, then comes this border security measure and then comes the permanent residency process. What we are talking about here is the permanent residency system,” Mr. Rubio said. “Regarding legalization, a vast majority of my colleagues have already accepted that: that it must take place and that it must start at the same time we start with what has to do with security. That is not conditional. Legalization is not conditional.”

And there goes what’s left of Marco Rubio’s credibility. All of this should be simple: Those who have respected the law have nothing to fear. Those who have not, have no business making demands of anyone else.

The best word to describe these policy differences Rubio spells out when he talks to different audiences that he obviously assumes will not hear about the message he delivers to the other group is “corrupt.”

It’s corrupt. Down to the core. Also dishonest, and disingenuous, take your pick.