Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he would not vote for the Gang of Eight's immigration bill, which he coauthored, unless changes are made.
Rubio explained in a Tuesday night interview with Hugh Hewitt that the bill will never become law if it does not ensure illegal immigration will stop.
“And that’s a fact," he said. "And the reason why is because while there’s a group, well, the majority of our colleagues are prepared to do immigration reform, they’re only prepared to do it if we ensure that this illegal immigration problem never happens again.”
Earlier on Tuesday, he told Fox News the bill didn’t have the 60 votes required.
“And so there’s a handful of Democrats, and a sizeable number of Republicans that are saying to us we’re prepared to do immigration reform, but we have to make sure there isn’t another wave of illegal immigration,” he continued. “So for those who want immigration reform, the task is very simple: Let’s strengthen the border security parts of this bill so that they’re stronger, so that they don’t give overwhelming discretion to the Department of Homeland Security. And I think if we can do that, then you’re going to be able to get something done. But if you can’t, it’s not going to happen.”
Rubio said there is no reason for him to vote for a losing bill, and thus he would not vote for it in its current form.
“So the answer is no. If they don’t pass, then we’ve got to keep working to ensure that we get to a bill that can become a law. We’re not interested in passing a Senate bill. We’re interested in passing a law that reforms a broken legal immigration system, that begins to enforce the law and that deals with the 11 million people who are here illegally.”
He didn’t say he disagreed with anything currently in the bill, but repeatedly expressed concern that a “wave” of illegal immigration could still be in the nation’s future.
“And that’s the goal of this endeavor,” he said. “And so if those amendments fail, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and keep working until we can figure out one that will pass. But I don’t understand why anyone would be against it, as such. I don’t think there is a good reason to be against strengthening border security for our country.”