Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has said he supports ‘the principles’ of Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio immigration reform proposal.
"Senator Rubio is exactly right on the need to fix our broken immigration system," the Congressman wrote on his Facebook page on Monday, with a link to a Wall Street Journal article that includes Rubio's key immigration goals.
“I support the principles he’s outlined: modernization of our immigration laws; stronger security to curb illegal immigration; and respect for the rule of law in addressing the complex challenge of the undocumented population. Our future depends on an immigration system that works.”
The son of working-class Cuban exiles, Marco Rubio has said any reform needs to ‘modernize’ legal immigration.
"I'm a big believer in family-based immigration," he says. "But I don't think that in the 21st century we can continue to have an immigration system where only 6.5% of people who come here, come here based on labor and skill. We have to move toward merit and skill-based immigration."
In the Wall Street Journal interview Rubio expressed an openness to granting undocumented immigrants in the US a pathway to citizenship.
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"Here's how I envision it," Rubio told The Wall Street Journal. "They would have to come forward.
“They would have to undergo a background check...They would be fingerprinted. They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove they've been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated.
“Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country."
The endorsement of both Ryan and Rubio, who are two of the GOP’s brightest stars, could signal hope for comprehensive immigration reform.