Senate Republicans are in strong opposition to President Obama’s proposed immigration reform, which would allow “illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years,” reports Fox News.
“The president is torpedoing his own plan,” said Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Fox News Sunday. “It shows me he is really not serious. … The bill won’t pass.”
The purported bill would establish a “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa for illegal immigrants in the U.S., who are estimated to number about 11 million. Also included would be more security funding and a requirement for business owners to implement a system for verifying the immigration status of new hires within four years. Those ineligible for the visa would include some individuals with criminal records, such as those who had served at least one year in prison and persons who had been convicted three times and sentenced to a total of 90 days in jail.
Some of the most critical words came from a rising star in the Republican Party, Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Saturday when he called the plan “half-baked and seriously flawed.” Rubio, who is part of an eight-member, bipartisan Senate panel which has been working on an immigration reform bill, also said in a statement, “If actually proposed, the president’s bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come.”
Rubio has been in the headlines frequently as of late. Whether he’s being called the savior of the Republican Party or ridiculed for taking an awkward sip of water during his response to the State of the Union Address, the youthful senator of Cuban descent, is being perceived by many as the heir apparent to the leadership of the right wing party.
Although Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says that the White House is working with the Senate panel, he denies that anything has been proposed to Capitol Hill yet. “We’re just going to be ready,” McDonough said on the ABC program This Week. “We have developed each of these proposals so we have them in a position so that we can succeed,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
With this fight coming so soon after the fiscal cliff battle, many Americans have reason to be even more frustrated by Washington than usual. One thing’s for sure: There is no love lost between the President and his detractors.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore