Marco Rubio promotes immigration policy that's bad for everyone (Michael Scherer, Time)

Senator Marco Rubio recently supported very bad immigration policy in an interview with Michael Scherer of Time Magazine (link). Per Rubio:

I'm always trying to remind my colleagues that if they lived in Mexico or anywhere in Latin America and their kids were hungry - every night went to sleep hungry - and your country provided no opportunity for you to feed them, you’re telling me that there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to feed them? You’re telling me you wouldn’t go anywhere there was a job so you could send money to them? I think the vast majority of people who enter this country illegally and legally do so because they’re looking for a better life, more opportunity for their kids. And I think we need to recognize that. I think we need to understand that many of them are doing what many of us would do if we were in the same position. That doesn’t excuse it. That doesn’t mean you legalize it. That doesn’t mean you overlook it, but I do think it puts a human element to it.

"Explaining isn't excusing", but Rubio isn't just explaining, he's excusing. His patter is very similar to Dick Armey's baby-waving and is in the same ballpark as George Bush's "you're comin' for the five bucks" line, which Obama repeated years later adjusted for inflation. Another thing they have in common is that Armey, Bush, Obama, and Rubio are all illegal immigration-enabling hacks who promote bad policies.

What Rubio is promoting makes things worse for the U.S.: most Americans oppose illegal immigration for a reason just as most political leaders support it for a reason (involving money and/or power). At the same time, mass immigration to the U.S. hollows out foreign countries and assists the corrupt leaders of those countries. People who might stay and press for reforms instead leave, taking the pressure off the leaders of those countries to provide for their own people. Those who leave then send back remittances, making those countries dependent on the U.S. rather than forcing them to build up their own economies.

And, Rubio would give a break to the 500 million in Latin America that he'd deny to the 5 billion people around the world who are poorer than Mexicans. Where's Rubio's compassion for the billions of people who aren't lucky enough to share a border with the U.S.? Why would he give relatively rich Mexicans a break that he'd deny to the far more needy people in Africa and Asia? Rubio would allow a relatively rich Mexican to move to the U.S. to improve their standard of living, but would deny the same to someone from Bangladesh or Mali.

Rubio then says:

I think Conservatism has a lot to offer Hispanics - Americans of Hispanic descent. And I do look forward to making that case to them in Spanish.

"Conservatism" has many definitions, but under one version it doesn't involve far-left concepts such as group rights. It also doesn't involve encouraging people to retain the languages of their home countries as Rubio would do. Of course, nowadays conservatism involves little more than obtaining power for the GOP so they can help the rich become richer at the expense of everyone else so no means to that end is ruled out.

Then, Rubio says:

What’s the Republican legal-­immigration plan? And that’s a problem, when all they hear from you is what you’re against and not what you’re for. The Republican Party has to become the pro–legal immigration party. It has to be a party that puts out two things: a common­sense, compassionate yet law-based response to people that are here without documents, and a robust legal-­immigration system that ­emphasizes border security, worker security and an workable visa program. We have to have a proactive policy in that regard, and we haven’t.

All the current GOP candidates are in favor of legal immigration, and all would probably increase it. As for Rubio's "response", it would clearly consist of some form of legalization program. That program might not involve a "path to citizenship" initially, but it would in the end. The Democratic Party and the far-left aren't going to let millions of potential voters slip through their fingers: if illegal aliens are legalized, the Democrats will work night and day and weekends to make sure that they become citizens.

Then, Rubio explains why he opposed a bill:

I think for the path to citizenship, the support is not there. I think for the path to legalization there can be a conversation. I think most people would say that’s not amnesty, but it has to be structured in the right way. Then the other thing that I would say that’s wrong with the DREAM Act is it provides for chain migration, which is something people feel strongly about. It can’t be used as an anchor to let as many as 3 million people come into the country.

While he's right about some of that, he's not discussing the far more pernicious impacts of the anti-American DREAM Act. That bill would allow the illegal aliens covered by it to deprive some citizens of college; it's a direct attack on the concept of citizenship itself. It would be incredibly easy to discredit leading Democrats and some Republicans over their support for that bill, from Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi to Dick Durbin and on down. Instead, Rubio would just tweak the bill to remove some of the major but less fundamental downsides of it.

Note also, of course, that Michael Scherer of Time didn't call Rubio on any of what's above: he just acted as a transcriptionist for Rubio's bad policy ideas.