Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on Your World yesterday to promote his 2016 presidential run discuss his immigration plan. He said “Yes, I am for immigration reform, but my amendment to the bill will be something called “trust but verify,” which says that we have to secure the border, and that we have to have a report that’s voted on by Congress each year in order for immigration reform to go forward.”
Neil Cavuto asked, “So how is that or is it different from Marco Rubio’s plan?”
Paul said, “It’s going to include some of the same things that (Rubio's) bi-partisan group has, so I’m not necessarily in disagreement with what they are doing. And in fact, I don’t think they have a new pathway to citizenship. I think their bill, like my bill, would say that you don’t have to go home …but you do have to get in line, the same line as someone in Mexico City. …Not the front of the line, the same line that already exists. ..What I’m saying is if you’re willing to work and you don’t want to come here for welfare but you want to work, we’re going to find a place for you in America.”
Cavuto asked if undocumented immigrants coming here see would then see “no risk to doing so” because there will be “an incentive down the road to getting in that line?”
No, Paul said. “Any of the reforms are going to say you’re going to have been here a certain period of time, and they’re also going to say that there’s a window that closes. …I don’t know what the window’s going to be 1 year or 2 years. …We need to fix the system so we can have all legal immigration and have no illegal immigration.”
As Outside the Beltway pointed out - but Cavuto did not - Paul's plan is problematic, even for Republicans:
By requiring that something as amorphous as “border security” would have to be certified before any of the other parts of the plan could go into effect, Paul is essentially proposing a plan that would never really work. For one thing, there really doesn’t seem to be any clear idea of what “border security” actually is. Does it mean real reductions in illegal crossings? Well, if that’s the case, then how exactly are we going to be able to determine that this is the case? Those people in Congress opposed to legalization of illegal immigrants will clearly use these Congressional votes to block implementation of those provisions of the law dealing with normalization. Given the current makeup of Congress, it’s fairly easy to see how even a small group of Republican hardliners could hold immigration reform hostage by claiming that the border still isn’t “secure.” That isn’t reform, it’s a guarantee for legislative gridlock. As far as the fortunes of the Republican Party go, such an outcome would only serve to further alienate Latinos from the Republican Party.
Cavuto should have asked Paul about that.