Is Rush Limbaugh going soft or sensible on immigration reform? The controversial talk radio host seems to have changed his tune after talking to 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio on his program this earlier this week.
On Monday, as a group of eight legislators hit Capitol Hill to propose new immigration measures, Limbaugh lambasted the idea. "We've done this before. We've done amnesty before," he said. "This immigration bill that everybody's touting on TV today is essentially the Bush immigration bill that was beat back in 2007."
That was before Florida senator and rising Republican star Rubio went on the air with Rush on Tuesday to outline the principles of their plan. Rush questioned him on the legitimacy of the reform, and asked how it would differ from President Obama’s plan and/or blanket amnesty.
While no official legislation has been drawn up yet, the bipartisan proposal addresses two major issues: Border security and the millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. Rubio says that without proper implementation of border security, he will not vote for immigration reform.
The senator also outlined a vision for how to legalize the people already here without deporting them and potentially splitting up families. They would be required to report themselves, pay back taxes, undergo a background check, and learn some English. They would then be issued a work permit and, after “a significant amount of time,” could apply for a green card. During the probationary period, they would not qualify for federal benefits like Social Security or Obamacare. They would also not be allowed to vote.
Rubio speaks with unique authority and personal perspective on immigration reform, as he is the son of Cuban immigrants who came to this country legally to make a better life.
So what did the frequently critical Limbaugh have to say about allowing illegal immigrants an option to stay in the country? He told Rubio, “What you are doing is admirable and noteworthy. You are recognizing reality. You are trumpeting it. You are shouting it.”
Is Limbaugh going soft on immigration, or recognizing the reality that Rubio points out: We have to do something. The principles outlined make common sense, and seem to be a good compromise between in the amnesty versus deportation debate. Rush continued his praise of Rubio:
Senator, it wasn’t that long ago when your message was what this country was, it wasn’t that long ago where your message was a winner, where your message defined this country, and I wish you all the best in reviving it. The country really does hinge on it, I think. That’s to you, and good luck.
Dealing with illegal immigration is no easy feat. It’s time to take a step back and listen to all sides of the equation. It would benefit us all to assume the best intentions and work together toward real reform. Heck, if Rush Limbaugh can do it ... we should all take a try.
What do you think about this tentative plan for immigration reform?
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