Marco Rubio talks immigration, Dream Act, amnesty
(CBS News) Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., decried the Dream Act as "too broad," and said his proposal currently being drafted would provide an "alternate route" for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
In an interview with CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell (to air on CBS' "Sunday Morning" on June 17), Rubio said his plan would grant the children of undocumented immigrants a visa but not, he says, amnesty.
"The Dream Act as it's been written originally is too broad, to be honest. It basically would apply to too many people," he told O'Donnell.
Of his proposal Rubio said, "I think I've found significant support for it, both in my own party and hopefully with some Democrats, that allows us to address the issue of these kids in a humanitarian way, that allows us to recognize that what we want to do is give these kids a chance to get right what their parents got wrong, but not do it in a way that incentivizes people to do this in the future, and doesn't undermine our legacy as a nation of laws."
"Will your plan give amnesty?" asked O'Donnell.
"No, it's not an amnesty plan," Rubio replied. "The plan basically would award the kids who meet a certain criteria - they got here by a certain age, have lived here, graduated from high school, don't have a criminal record, want to go to college - they get what, in essence, is a student visa, and thereafter, a work visa.
"And after some period of time, probably 10 years, we would then allow them to access the immigration system just like any non-immigrant visa holder in the United States would. ... So they'd be no worse off than anybody else, but no better off, either. No special path. Just the same path as everyone else."
When asked if he has discussed his proposal with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Rubio said he has not: "I think they're interested in the final product. But I haven't asked him to take a position on it until it's finalized because that wouldn't be fair."
On a related topic. O'Donnell asked Rubio - whose name has been floated as a possible running mate for Romney - whether he would like to be president himself some day.
"I've never thought about wanting to [have] a specific job in politics," he said. "And I'll tell you, maybe I have a built-in reluctance, because my limited experience from the people I've watched in politics over the last 20 years, it's the people who are constantly looking for the next office that end up destroying themselves."
In the interview, Rubio also told O'Donnell that he read and identified with portions of President Obama's autobiography "Audacity of Hope," and said he hoped both Republicans and Democrats would read his upcoming book. Click below to hear more:
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